Kidnapped 12-year-old girl rescued at southside motel

By Phil Archer - Reporter

HOUSTON - A 12-year-old girl was rescued by a good Samaritan Wednesday after she was abducted off the street in the 4300 block of West Orem Drive and taken to a southside motel.

The girl said she'd just gotten off the bus from school and was walking to her grandmother's house. When she stopped to tie her shoelace, a man came from behind her and pushed her into his truck. She said he put tape over her mouth and pushed her down in the back seat.

"I was screaming," she said,  "but ...nobody could hear me."

She described her abductor as a middle-aged, Hispanic man who was wearing a blue shirt and blue jeans. She said he was drinking. She said he put a surgical cap on her head and put her backpack in a garbage bag.

He then drove her to the Palace Inn Motel, 3434 Airport Boulevard and checked in. A woman who was sitting in her car in the parking lot saw him standing outside his truck, and then spotted the girl in the back seat.

"It didn't look right," the woman told Local 2 News.

Without hesitating she walked over to investigate.

She saw the girl, a sixth-grader, was still wearing her school uniform. When the girl told her she was only 12, the woman immediately  pulled the girl out of the truck and put her in her car. She says the man followed them for a while, in his truck, but then turned off.

The girl's rescuer said she recognized the man from the neighborhood and took the girl to her grandmother's house. They then stopped by the man's house to tell his wife what had happened.

The child's mother rushed home from work, and called 911.

Speaking of the woman who rescued her daughter she said, "I think she was brave."

The girl was examined by doctors at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital who determined she had not been physically harmed. But her mother says she's still shaken emotionally.

"You never know that it would happen to you." she said, crying. "And you have to explain to your child that it's not (her) fault. It wasn't supposed to happen."

Houston police confirm they are investigating. An officer obtained the man's name from the motel register. So far, no arrest has been made.

Local 2 News is not releasing the names of the girl, her mother and the girl's rescuer at their request.

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