UPDATE: Providence police release footage of kidnapping of 9-year-old girl
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Providence police are asking the public to be on the lookout for a man believed to have attempted the kidnapping of a 9-year-old girl in the city Monday afternoon.
“It’s scary just to think about,” Maria Hernandez said. “Just a couple of blocks away from my house and your kids may not ever make it home.”
Maria Hernandez has three kids who go to school near Grover and Merino Streets, where the incident happened. She says she along with many other parents let their kids walk home since everything is close by.
“Now, you have to have a time or you have to make time for your kids or you have to look for somebody who is willing to pick them up,” Hernandez said. “Anywhere they go… doesn’t matter if it’s two blocks down the street from where your bus stop is at. It’s too scary.”
According to Providence Police, the girl got off the school bus around 3 p.m. on Monday in the area of Grover Street and Merino Street. They say she was walking when she was taken. She was later dropped off at a nearby area.
Police believe the suspect is a 20 to 40-year-old Hispanic male wearing all black with black hair. They are looking for a silver Nissan SUV caught on footage at the time of the incident.
“They’re out there. They took that little girl,” Hernandez said. “As parents, let’s do the job of taking care of other kids also.”
Providence Public Schools sent ABC 6 a statement that reads: “All of us at Providence Schools are extremely distressed by yesterday’s abduction of a young member of our community and are relieved to learn of the child’s return. The school district is prepared to provide supports and resources to the family as they recover from this traumatic event.
We are grateful for the Providence Police, who are working diligently on this case. When it comes to protecting children, all members of the community have a responsibility to be vigilant. We have informed our staff and our families to be on the alert and to share any information with the police that could be helpful.”
ABC 6 also asked the district about their transportation policy. According to a spokesperson for the school system, students 8-years-old or younger can not be left at the bus stop unless a designated adult is there to greet them. If no adult is present at the time, the bus driver will keep the child on the bus and bring him/her to the bus yard where the parents may pick up their child.
The victim in this case was 9-years-old, which is why they say she was left alone.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Captain Tim O’Hara at (401) 243-6360 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or Detective Sergeant John Muriel at (401) 243-6380 or by email at email@example.com.