Two American females, living tens of thousands of miles apart, were reported safe on the same day earlier this week.
On Wednesday, Janae Kalia-Henry, 13, was abducted from her home in Reading, Pennsylvania, at around 2:00 in the morning local time. Thankfully, she was found later that evening in Brooklyn, New York, approximately three hours away. She was allegedly found without shoes but was otherwise unharmed.
Detectives drove the girl safely back to her family in Pennsylvania.
The NYPD and FBI arrested Dwayne Taylor, 47, of Brooklyn in connection with this case. According to the girl’s family, Taylor had met Kalia-Henry’s mother online a few months ago, and the two began dating. However, the relationship did not last.
The motive for the kidnapping is unclear.
The City of Reading had issued an Amber Alert on Kalia-Henry’s behalf, and the 911 caller who reportedly found Kalia-Henry claimed to have found a missing girl, indicating that the Amber Alert may have affected this case.
“Let this be a lesson to anyone who’s trying to harm any of our little ones,” said Eddie Moran, mayor of Reading. “We will do everything possible to make sure they will get apprehended immediately.”
Taylor has yet to be charged, though he is expected to be prosecuted “in the near future,” officials said.
On the same day on the other side of the world, an 83-year-old American nun named Sr. Suellen Tennyson was reportedly found safe, five months after she had been abducted from her home in Burkina Faso, a small, poor country located in the northwestern region of Africa between the Ivory Coast and Niger.
On April 4, Tennyson, a member of the Marianites of Holy Cross of Louisiana, was in the home she shared with two other nuns and two lay women when 10 armed terrorists broke into the home and kidnapped her, according to U.S. officials. Tennyson was the only American citizen among them.
On Wednesday, the Catholic Church announced that Tennyson had been returned to U.S. custody in Niamey, the capital of Niger. Though Tennyson had been taken without her blood pressure medication, she was reportedly in good health.
“We have no information on the conditions of her release but we express our profound gratitude to those who worked toward it,” said Bishop Theophile Nare of Kaya, the fifth largest city in Burkina Faso.
“We are grateful to God for the safety of Sr. Suellen,” said Archbishop Gregory Aymond of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, where Tennyson lived and worked for many years. She began her missionary work in Burkina Faso in 2014.
Tennyson’s release seems to have been the work of several U.S. military and diplomatic officials in the region. The State Department has said that she “will soon be reunited with loved ones.”