9-year-old girl kidnapped by couple in white van while she walked home from school in California, police say

News & Politics

California police said that a 9-year-old girl was kidnapped by a couple in a white van while she was walking home from school, but she was able to escape minutes later.

The girl was walking from Jefferson Elementary School at about 1:45 p.m. when Sanger police said she was grabbed and thrown into a van.

“The young girl began screaming and yelling,” said Sanger Police Chief Greg Garner.

Garner says that she was released by the couple a few blocks away at JFK Spray Park.

“She was literally terrified, which is what prompted her to scream in the way she was screaming,” he added. “I think that, well, it was a summation on my part, but I think that caused the people that perpetrated this crime to panic a bit, pull the car over and let her out.”

The girl ran home, where her parents called police.

“The 9-year-old girl was remarkably frightened but also remarkably composed,” he added.

The girl told police that both of the alleged abductors wore a face mask and all-black clothing. The man sat in the passenger seat while the woman drove and was described as having light skin and short hair.

Police said that the parents usually pick the girl up from school but that she had to walk home that day because school let out early. She lived only a few blocks from the school.

Garner gave advice to parents about preparing children for similar situations.

“Pre-advice that a parent can provide to their kid in a situation like this is better so they would be prepared if heaven forbid something like this happens,” he said.

Police are trying to identify the suspects and the car. Residents in the area have been asked to review their surveillance cameras for information that might be helpful to the investigation.

Sanger is a city of about 26,600 people located 13 miles from Fresno.

Here’s a news report about the kidnapping:

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