Imagine coming home early one day, chatting with your husband in the kitchen when police barge in and find a 13-year-old girl in your upstairs closet. Then finding out your husband has sexually assaulted and imprisoned her.
It sounds pretty unimaginable. It’s was one Kalamazoo, Michigan woman’s reality in May.
Police believe this girl – whose identity will not be disclosed – was saved by the unexpected arrival of the abductor’s wife. While the abductor was busy talking with his wife downstairs, the girl did the smartest thing she could. She got to a phone, dialed 911, and waited.
There was enough time while her attacker was busy for police to use GPS and other methods to track her location and arrive to her rescue.
One can easily imagine what could have happened to the girl if the wife hadn’t come home when she did.
It was immediately apparent to police that the wife had no idea.
Reportedly, Captain Victor Ledbetter, head of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety’s Criminal Investigations Divison, believes the wife is also a victim and she “did not take it well.”
It’s hard to imagine anyone taking that news well, especially when the abducted girl is still in your house.
According to the report, the 911 call came in around 7:45 pm on Wednesday, May 10th. The girl told the dispatcher she’d been abducted from a Metro Transit bus stop in the 1600 block of Portage Street.
The man had approached her, forced her into his car, drove her to his house, and sexually assaulted her.
Captain Ledbetter stated the girl may have been tricked. He also indicated that the man had enough size to overpower the teen.
This suspect has only one misdemeanor offense on his record but no felony charges and was not previously known to police. He wouldn’t have stood out to police, according to the detective.
Talk to Your Kids
Detective Ledbetter also said this makes for a good opportunity to talk to kids about what to do if anyone ever tries to kidnap them.
The number one thing to remember – for anyone who is the potential victim of kidnapping – is to avoid getting inside a vehicle. You may receive promises that you won’t be hurt if you don’t fight back. However, this is statistically not true.
If you can fight back, fight back. Run if you can run. Scream and make noise to attract attention, but don’t go willingly into a vehicle.
This girl was miraculously saved from a worse fate by the arrival of the kidnapper’s wife.
If you are a potential victim, you can’t count on things getting better for you at a second location. “Make your stand right outside the vehicle. Your chances are better.”
This holds true even if a kidnapper threatens you with a gun or a knife. Even if you run away, you are not likely to get hit with a bullet – most people aren’t that good of a shot.
In addition, most kidnappers don’t want a confrontation. They want to get away quickly. If you can prevent that quick getaway by any means necessary, do it.
One kidnapped girl’s story has ended in rescue, but it’s good to let this story inspire you to teach your kids what to do in a similar situation. Better yet, there are many self-defense classes available that not only teach self-defense moves but help you practice what to do.