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Posted at 9:45 AM ET, 05/30/2010

Video: Teen safe after Amber Alert issued

By Washington Post Editors

Updated, 8:43 a.m.

The teen reportedly abducted in Stafford County Saturday has been located safe in Florida, according to the Stafford County Sheriff's Office.

Family members forced the 17-year-old girl into a van at a Target parking lot in Virginia because she did not want to move to Florida, according to authorities. The family had stopped at the store on the way to their new home.

Jacksonville, Fla. police located the van around 12:20 a.m. Sunday morning and determined the girl was safe. The Commonwealth Attorney's Office in Stafford County will be meeting with the Stafford County Sheriff's Office to determine if any charges will be filed against the family members who participated in the actions witnessed in Stafford County. This incident is still under investigation.

Original story:

An Amber Alert was issued Saturday in connection with what seemed to be an abduction of a female teenager from a shopping center in Stafford County, an event that was captured on a startling surveillance tape.

The video shows three people struggling to force the apparent victim into a sport-utility vehicle at about 11:25 a.m., just outside a store in the shopping center.
The victim "was fighting and screaming that she did not want to go" and tried to get out of the van as it drove off, the county sheriff's office said.
At one point in the video, which was posted on the YouTube site, a woman with a shopping bag walks toward the struggling group, then seems to shift her path slightly to avoid them.

Authorities said witnesses quickly alerted them to the apparent abduction.

The Amber Alert said the apparent abduction victim, a 17-year-old African American girl, was taken by a man and two women, who may be in a green 1998 Dodge Caravan with a Rhode Island license tag of 984610.

The alert, issued for children believed to be in danger, described the apparent victim as 5-feet-7, about 140 pounds with brown eyes.
She was not identified, and her age was estimated.

The shopping center is northwest of Fredericksburg, just west of Interstate 95. Persons with information about the incident are asked to contact the sheriff's office at 540-659-2020 or the state police at 800-822-4453.

In the surveillance tape, a van is seen driving from the parking lot onto the roadway in front of the store. The van turns right and stops. Seconds later, the apparent victim walks along the same route. The male driver gets out and comes around the side of the van. The teenager veers away, but a woman who has apparently been following the teen on foot helps the man grab her.

--Martin Weil

By Washington Post Editors  | May 30, 2010; 9:45 AM ET
 
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Comments

Looks like she might've been targeted and/or KNEW her abductors! At least one of which was a female.

Posted by: perryneheum | May 29, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Where are the store security workers that is suppose to be watching the monitors or as they like to be call loss prevention. That poor girl was fighting for her life and nobody stepped in to help. There are people in the parking lot for gds sake, and no one saw anything...unreal

Posted by: FrankMonzon | May 29, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

This wasn't an abduction. If it were, the abductors would have grabbed the girl when she was walking on the far outskirts of the parking lot at the beginning of the video. The group comes in from the top left corner at 11:22:22. One person follows the girl on foot, and the van keeps heading her off, but she never runs or seems desperate during the slow-motion pursuit over the next three minutes. It looks pretty clear that she knows the others.

The girl also wasn't in Target; the group comes into the parking lot from somewhere else. This location is right off I-95. WTOP has a plate number and says the plate might be from Rhode Island. I think the girl was in the van earlier, and they stopped for lunch or gas, and the girl didn't want to get back in.

I don't know why the Post is reporting the girl's age as if it's a known fact. The Stafford County Sheriff isn't stating that age or any other identifying info. The Post article makes it seem like this is a known local girl who was abducted by strangers. It looks more likely that it was a group of travelers trying to get a stubborn teenager back in the car.

Posted by: pundito | May 29, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I want to tell the black community this: you need to wake up. you need to stop this code of silence and blind eyedness toward crime and criminals? If you are afraid of being a snitch, does that mean you're not afraid of this type of stuff happening to your own family members? Damn that is sad. These by standers are disgusting.

Posted by: FiatBooks | May 29, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Seriously ... what does it take for someone to step up????

Posted by: upland_bill | May 29, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Well from this video I have two versions of what could have happend....

From the very beginning of the video, at the top left corner, you can see the young girl walking away from the woman wearing white, all throughout the parking lot. They are walking calmly, the van - with a open back sliding door - follows them around, weaving from isle to isle to keep up. The girl keep changing direction calmly when the van closes in. Only at 2:17 does the young girl attempt a small run, when it seems the van is trying to scare her to run her over a bit. At this point, the woman in white didn't run after her though. From 2:38 and on the girl is grabbed by the woman in white when she tries to once again change the direction of her walking. To me the woman looks older and professionally dressed, maybe her mother? The driver was also calm, and none of the three people seem to hit her or hurt the girl, just grab her to bring her into the car - which is not what would happen had she been abducted by strangers with intent to harm. The girl would also not be walking in calm circles if she felt in danger. So this is non-sense. They all know each other, they probably had a family fight or a misunderstanding. Someone mentioned the theory of a stubborn teenager not wanting to come back to mom and family in the car, makes perfect sense to me.

Unless of course - the young girl drove in to shop at the mall, which explains the large bad - maybe she accidentally hit their car while parking or driving or with a door and didn't apologize or stay to look at the damages... the people in the car started to confront her because they are mad. While the girl is too proud to run or ask for help from other and plays it cool to look tough and careless. The family in the van kidnap her to teach her a lesson or talk some sense into her for being a bad driver or being rude or simply to get paid for the damage to their car...I also noticed that the woman following the girl was the original driver of the car - which would make sense that the driver got mad and was following the girl for car damage...at the end she gets in to the car as a driver.

I am sure the explanation or something will come up soon since the license plate is visible...police must be working on it!

Posted by: jane21nyct | May 30, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

I know at some point this is going to become an argument about the race of the people involved, the truth is this happens with people of all races and the effect is explained well in "The Hidden Brain".

Years ago I was at a festival and I was being harassed by a homeless, white man (I am black) who started getting angry with me because I was not interested in his advances, at a certain point he started yelling at me and becoming physical (I was about 19 at the time).

I was surrounded by people (most of them white), who clearly saw what was going on, many large men were among the crowd, but everyone looked away and nobody stepped in to help me out. I did eventually get away from him, but with no help.

That more than anything scared me, from then on I knew that in those situations you really only have one person to count on... yourself.

It is not that these people are bad, it is just that in those situations people won't do anything if someone does not step in... psychology not race is at work here.

Posted by: Neve1 | May 30, 2010 1:48 AM | Report abuse

As I wrote, it was not an abduction. According to WTOP.com:

"Stafford County Sheriff's Office says what the witnesses saw was the girl kicking and screaming as she fought with her family members because she did not want to move to Florida."

Posted by: pundito | May 30, 2010 2:40 AM | Report abuse

Now I wonder if all of the race baiters are going tp post up now that there are more facts to support what we all thought we were seeing. Some folks are quick to indict an entire group based in THEIR limited vision. Fiat please drive somewhere and stay there. What is the REAL lesson to be learned here?

Posted by: swimmer11 | May 30, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Sad that the girl didn't want to move to FL and that her family had to get physical with her. But when she's 18...less than a year...she'll be an adult and can get a job and live wherever she wants! She might like FL in the winter!

Posted by: DecafDrinker | May 30, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

The article says:
"The Commonwealth Attorney's Office ... to determine if any charges will be filed..."
Why should any charges be filed?
As the girl was under age the parents are required BY LAW to care for the girl. That includes forcing her into the car against her will if necessary. If the girl had just been left there the parents could have been charged with abandoning her. At times Virginia is too aggressive at arresting people for crimes that don't exist!

Posted by: ANONS | May 30, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

LOL! This is a family? I thought they were pimping her out or something. They make the Klumps look like royalty.

Posted by: FiatBooks | May 30, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

It turns out that this was a family moving to Florida and this kid didn't want to move there. I suppose she wanted to stay in the United States instead. And if you think this comment is a bit harsh, well, I happen to be residing (I'm not sure I can call it "living") in South Florida, which is where this family was moving, and I can't really blame this young lady for her reluctance. I wonder if her family knows that South Florida is the part of the country where you're most likely to get arrested, for just about anything (including attitude), and that Fort Lauderdale in particular is not the friendliest spot if you happen to be black.

Posted by: grossness54 | May 30, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

This teen is probably younger than 17 yrs old, but say her age is what they are guessing at 17 yrs of age, she's still a minor and the family have every right to keep her out of harms way. Some kid at that age have vary hard heads with most thinking that they are adults. My opinion is that the family did the right thing, they couldn't very well leave her there and the only other choice was to call the police but that option would not have worken out because the family was on the road to fla. and they would've had to stay because the police would had certain arrested this naughty bratty teen, causing this family time and money to get her hard head out juvenile lockup and on to florida.

Posted by: manba1 | May 30, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Why would they charge the parents? It is thier child and she is safe! What would happen to this world if we did what our teenagers want everytime they disagreed with us?

Posted by: Debra8Tiger | May 30, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

There had to be a better way. Citizens and Law enforcement shouldn't have to bear the responsibility of trying to figure out when a situation like this warrants assistance. If a bystander would have interfered there's a possibility that they may have been assaulted or worse.

Posted by: lancefiles1@hotmail.com | May 30, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Please investigate this abduction! Perhaps this teen was crying out for help because she is being abused. Remember Lexie Glover, the adopted girl that was murdered by her adopted mother. The mother told everyone the child would just run away. Sure she did because she was treated like a dog and eventually killed by the adopted mother! Why doesn't this kid want to move to Florida? What was her life like in Rhode Island? Verify all information. Maybe running around the Target parking lot was this girls way of saying something is going on here that is very bad, please help me!

Posted by: Ross65 | May 30, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Why on earth would the family be charged with anything??? If this girl is a minor and they are her parents/custodians then good for them. That girl needs to do what she is told. What should they have done if she didn't want to keep going with them on their move to Florida? Just let her walk away and leave? Then they would be charged with abandonment! Come on people - common sense! Kids need to mind their parents and a society that doesn't respect that and reinforce that is why things are so out of control. People thought there was an incident and there was not. That is good thing, not something to charge the parents with criminal charges about.

Posted by: Mommyoffourable | May 30, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Now that the truth is known (THOSE ARE FAMILY MEMBERS 'ABDUCTING' THE GIRL) and the girl has been located in Florida with the supposed ABDUCTORS, what have we learned?

Mind your BUSINESS? Err on the side of CAUTION?

CAN'T DECIDE?

Posted by: whatyoutalkinboutman | May 30, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

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