A 16-year-old girl who was torn from her mother's arms while walking on a New York City street Monday night has been found "safe and unharmed," tweeted Dept. Inspector Robert M. Gallitelli, of the NYPD’s 40th Precinct.
The news comes one day after a Bronx mother watched in horror as her daughter was snatched from a sidewalk by two men and stuffed into a waiting car.
Karol Sanchez, 16, was kidnapped late on Monday night, and the crime was partially captured by a surveillance camera, police said. Her abduction prompted the NYPD to issue an Amber Alert.
Now, Gallitelli confirmed that Sanchez is no longer in danger.
"Karol Sanchez has been located in the Bronx, she is safe and unharmed. Great work by the @NYPD and all of our federal partners. Thank you to everyone in the community for your assistance," read the full tweet.
Sanchez and her 36-year-old mother were walking together on Eagle Ave. in the Melrose neighborhood of the Bronx at around 11:30 p.m. when a beige four-door sedan pulled up next to them. Two men popped out and within a few seconds “grabbed the 16-year-old female, and dragged her inside the vehicle while pushing the victim's mother to the ground,” police said.
The mother can be seen flailing her arms and tussling with them men before charging the car to protect her daughter. But the kidnappers overpowered the mother, shoving her to the asphalt while Sanchez is manhandled into the waiting car, where two more men were seated inside.
The car then peels away, heading eastbound on East 156th St.
The mother managed to survive without suffering any injuries, according to police.
After losing her daughter, Sanchez’s traumatized mother apparently ran into a nearby bodega for help.
“She was out here screaming, ‘Oh my God, my daughter, my daughter, my daughter,'” Shaniya Williams, who came to the mother’s aid after the incident, told The New York Post.
Williams said she was heading to work when she said she heard the mother’s “hysterical crying.”
“She said she was looking for her,” she told the publication.
The men were described by police as being in their 20s, wearing dark clothing, and they apparently had no prior connection to the mother and daughter, investigators told ABC 7 New York.
Cops were looking into whether the mother’s decision to return back to her native Honduras played a role in the kidnapping, The New York Daily News reported.
Anyone with information in regard to the identities of the men, or information on the incident itself, is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website or on Twitter @NYPDTips.
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