SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The family of an 11-year-old Springfield, Massachusetts, girl abducted while walking home from school is specifically thanking the couple who chased down the suspect vehicle through town.
An Amber Alert was issued Wednesday evening after a Springfield girl was abducted by a man in a dark-colored Honda Civic. Amanda Disley and her husband Benny Correa were going out to the store when they saw the car police were looking for.
For 15 minutes, they followed the car while on the phone with police dispatchers.
“My 10-year-old son ... cheering us on. Get her. Get her. He pulled the camera out and recorded the whole situation,” said Correa.
They followed the suspect, 24-year-old Miguel Rodriguez, through multiple neighborhoods in Springfield. At one point, Correa said they saw the young girl in the back seat.
“When I got to that light on Harvey Street and I shot my beams, I said that is the car. He pushed her down and it was a chase from there,” he said.
Rodriguez ended up getting away from them after Correa ran out of gas, but state police arrested the suspect and recovered the girl safely soon after. Rodriguez appeared in court Thursday where he was ordered held without bail and to undergo a mental health evaluation.
“We do thank them for their information, the license plate info, the info they provided to dispatchers was integral to this investigation," said Springfield Police PIO Ryan Walsh.
Police, of course, never encourage people to pursue potentially dangerous people but say this couple’s help was key.
“Usually the news we see is never good. There is never a happy ending but this is a happy ending and that’s all we care about,” said Correa. “We didn’t expect it to go this far. We are just a mother and father that would have done the same thing in any situation for any other kid with the hope that someone would do the same for us.”
The girl’s family released a statement Thursday, thanking the public and police for helping find their daughter.
“My husband and I would like to thank our neighbors; the State, Chicopee and Springfield police (especially Detectives John Lopez and Angel Marrero, Captain Trent Duda, Mayor Sarno, Commissioner Clapprood; all local and national news outlets, family, friends, our Hampden Charter and St. Michael’s school communities, the doctor, nurse and social worker who assisted Charlotte in the ER; and strangers near and far who, via social media, got the word out to help bring Charlotte home. In particular, we’d like to thank Amanda Disley and her husband for their vigilance and courage for putting themselves in harm’s way to make sure she wasn’t out of their sight. The outpouring of love and support, near and far, is overwhelming. We are eternally grateful.”— Carl & Denise Moccia
The couple’s SUV had a damaged tired after hitting a curb and there is some other body damage. A local car company is doing all of the repairs for free.
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