LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Authorities say a Kentucky girl who was snatched from her bicycle by a stranger was found quickly, returned to her family, and a suspect was charged with kidnapping thanks to the quick actions of neighbors and police.
A Louisville Police Department spokesperson told news outlets that neighbors who witnessed the girl get taken from her Louisville neighborhood on July 2 quickly called 911 with a detailed description of the vehicle and a partial license plate number.
Police say officers responded immediately and saturated the area. Within 30 minutes, police say Sgt. Joe Keeling was able to stop the suspect vehicle and waited for backup to arrive.
Police say Officer Jason Burba then rescued the 6-year-old girl from the vehicle as the suspect, 40-year-old Robby Wildt, was being apprehended.
Wildt has been charged with kidnapping a minor and has pleaded not guilty.
The police department shared body camera footage from the officers who found the girl on its YouTube channel. In the video, you can hear the girl crying and saying, “I want my daddy.”
“This is a rare situation, stranger kidnapping. More commonly we see custodial issues as kidnappings. Although we do not want the community to be alarmed, this is certainly an educational opportunity for parents to remind their children that ‘stranger danger’ is real. It is important to talk to your kids about any adult who tries to use a ruse to lure them to their vehicles or away from public view,” said Louisville police spokesperson Aaron M. Ellis in a statement.