BEYOND WORDS: Girl, 8, dragged from her home in dead of night

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

AN eight-year-old girl is deeply traumatised and her family shattered after she was abducted from her home early yesterday morning.

Distraught loved ones are calling for the immediate activation of the MARCO Alert system.

The eight-year-old’s mother told The Tribune yesterday the man who took her daughter - who is now at home safe - has changed both her and her child irreparably.

“She been crying all night,” the mother, 38, said. “Every time she wake up, she crying. He take my child life, changed her whole life. He change my life because I am a demon now, I’m not human (sic).”

The mother said her daughter described the man as a dark-skinned bald man.

Yesterday police said they were searching for a man in connection with the alleged abduction but also had a man in custody assisting with this incident.

According to police, the man entered the family’s home shortly after 2am on Sunday and abducted the girl - whom they reported was six.

In a report to the media sent at 11.45am, police said the child was discovered walking in the area of Woodlawn Gardens a short time after the abduction by a passerby and taken to the Wulff Road Police Station.

The Tribune visited the home in Culmerville and interviewed several close relatives and area residents, but has withheld the names of all family members to protect the young girl’s anonymity. The eight-year-old is one of seven children, with the eldest a 22-year-old girl, and the youngest child a two-year-old girl.

The girl’s mother said the abductor knocked on the door of the home and when the eight-year-old and her five-year-old sister answered it.

The man reportedly pushed the five-year-old to the side, and then grabbed the eight-year-old, taking her with him into his car.

“The car speed around, it disappear. Now I don’t know if I’m up or down, if I’m here or there,” the mother said.

She said when she heard the knock, she thought it was her daughter’s friend, adding she and her children chased after the car down the street.

Area residents, said to be present in the yard at the time of the abduction, described the car as a champagne-coloured Jaguar.

“This person knock directly on their . . .door,” said a longtime neighbour.

“They had to have stakeout this place, this person was round here watching, either lingering around here.”

From there, according to her mother, the little girl claimed she was taken to the man’s home and groped her. He then told her to close her eyes, and took her to an area in Woodlawn Gardens of Soldier Road.

“He took her to his house,” her mother said, “and touched her... “

The mother continued: “She was crying, she say she want to go home, and he told her close her eyes you going home right now. When she open her eyes, she don’t see nobody but the street, she was walking up and down.

“She didn’t know where was, she never been that far, she’s only eight-years-old. An angel!” the mother exclaimed through tears. “And an angel in the streets saw that little girl crying, and he took her to the police station.”

She added: “When I give my interview at the police station, and I see my baby walk out, I feel like the heavens just open up.”

While The Tribune was told the young girl was found sometime after 4.30am, police said she was found less than an hour after she was reported missing.

At the family home yesterday, residents and loved ones were visibly shaken by the ordeal and expressed a range of emotions from disbelief and anger to despair.

The 20-year-old sister that the man allegedly asked for, told The Tribune she went out with friends around 11.30pm on Saturday. She received a call that her sister had been taken, and said she was shocked to learn the culprit had asked for her by name.

However, she said she does not believe any of her friends are involved, adding police have already questioned one of her male friends.

“I showed my little sister the picture (of her friend),” she said. “(I asked), ‘is this the person who carry you,’ she say no, I told her ‘baby girl I know you traumatised, is this the person who carry you,’ she say no. Where she was so scared I never see her like that, she was shaking. She was crying.”

Residents and loved ones said the ordeal evoked the memory of Marco Archer’s abduction and killing in 2011.

“Me and Marco Archer was supposed to be the same age right now,” the 20-year-old sister said. “He was in grade six when they take his life. You think I want to watch my sister life get take away just like a little boy who I used to know?”

She continued: “That’s all what was in my head, saying, oh God guide and protect her. If they have her bring her back home. This person had to be watching…plenty males is be around here walking but we been around here five, six years and never nothing like this. We have boyfriend and girlfriend drama, but not this.”

A neighbour said: “We need to impose this (MARCO Alert system). We need to impose this, we need to enforce, from the two woman incident whether that was prank playing, if they did something like that just to get back at a boyfriend or friend, punish them. We should punish these people. This can’t be like all the other things they sweep under the rug.”

The neighbour was referring to an incident in February when a three-year-old boy was abducted and then left frightened and alone outside a Fox Hill washhouse several hours later, sparking a manhunt for two women believed to be the assailants.