'I've been stolen' is what a 5-year-old girl in Upper Darby, Pa., said after she was found at 4 a.m. huddled under a slide at a playground. The girl was reported 'stolen' Monday morning from the William C. Bryant School, in west Philadelphia.
(AP Photo/Philadelphia Daily News, Alejandro A. Alvarez)
A 5-year-old girl who was abducted from a school by a woman claiming to be her mother was found by a passerby at a playground early Tuesday and told him, "I've been stolen," authorities said.
When found by a man walking down the street in Upper Darby, Pa., around 4:40 a.m., the girl was hiding under a piece of playground equipment in a park and wearing only a T-shirt, said Capt. John Darby, of the Philadelphia police department.
She was taken to the hospital to be checked out, but police said she did not appear to be hurt. Darby said officials are screening the girl to determine if she may have been sexually assaulted.
"There were no overt signs of physical injuries to the child," Darby said at a news conference, adding that police have had only preliminary interviews with the girl. "We have a fragile victim here."
The girl was taken Monday morning from the William C. Bryant School, in west Philadelphia. Authorities released surveillance video showing a woman wearing a full-length, black Muslim garment, her face covered by a black veil, taking the girl out of the school. School policies were apparently not followed, according to district officials, as the woman got the girl straight from her classroom after signing in at the front door – without reporting first to the main office.
Her mother had appeared on local media Monday night, tearfully pleading for her safe return, and explaining how she also wears the traditional chador and niqab.
A 27-year-old sanitation worker in Philadelphia says he was drawn to cries for help by an abducted girl before finding the freezing child huddled beneath a playground slide. Nelson Mandela Myers said at a Tuesday news conference that he wrapped the 5-year-old in his jacket and immediately called 911.