/Missing 11-year-old girl found safe; man in custody, state police say
Missing 11-year-old girl found safe; man in custody, state police say

Missing 11-year-old girl found safe; man in custody, state police say


Massachusetts State Police troopers were able to locate a missing 11-year-old Springfield girl who had been abducted by strangers Wednesday afternoon.An Amber Alert was issued for Charlotte Moccia at about 5 p.m. Wednesday but it was canceled after she was found in a car on the Massachusetts Turnpike just over two hours later.State police said they received multiple 911 calls at about 7:15 p.m. from motorists driving on Interstate 90 east, who reported seeing a car that matched the description of the suspect vehicle in the area of Warren and Brimfield.Troopers who were working a road construction detail in the area were able to limit traffic to a single lane and bring the flow of traffic to a crawl.
The troopers were able to spot the suspect vehicle and stopped it in the work zone. They found Charlotte in the back seat and instantly removed her from the vehicle.”We are grateful that we had an opportunity to find and rescue her before something even worse happened,” said Massachusetts State Police Lt. Charles Murray. “I’m just ecstatic that we were able to return her safely. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time.”Troopers removed the man driving the car, 24-year-old Miguel Rodriguez, of Springfield, at gunpoint after spotting a knife in the pocket of the driver’s side door.Rodriguez was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Charlton State Police Barracks for booking.
He has since been transferred to the Springfield Police Department.Charlotte had no apparent injuries and was evaluated by emergency medical services personnel before she was transported to an area hospital for further evaluation, according to officials.”She’s an amazing little girl,” said Massachusetts State Police Lt. Bob Ackerman. “I couldn’t believe how she kept it all together and just speaking with us. It’s amazing.
I can’t believe how strong she was dealing with this.”Charlotte’s family had gathered at a home in Springfield and erupted in celebration when they were notified that she had been found safe.Springfield police said Charlotte was returning home from Hampden Charter School of Science when she went missing Wednesday afternoon.State police said she was forced into a blue Honda at 1:26 p.m. near the corner of Princeton and Amherst streets, not long after she got off her school bus.”Once we realized what we had, we knew that time was of the essence,” said Springfield police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood. “This was not the kind of case that we could go home, or we could hand over or we could say, ‘We’ll continue this in the morning.’ This was an absolute life-and-death situation for this little girl, so we dedicated all our resources to it and we had a lot of help.
“Thank you to the public for helping us out. It has come to a very good conclusion, I feel.”State police investigators reported that Rodriguez was walking behind Charlotte and forced her into the back of an older model blue Honda that was being driven by a female.”When I came out, I heard the kid hollering for help,” a witness said. “By the time I got down (to the road) to try to get the plate number, all I could see was an individual bent over, throwing her in the back. He shut the door and the car took off.”Springfield police believe a female may have been involved at the time of the abduction.Clapprood said Rodriguez is known to Springfield police and that he is expected to face additional charges.
The Springfield Police Department will continue to investigate the abduction.State police also thanked the motorists who paid attention to the Amber Alert.”They made this rescue possible,” Murray said.
Massachusetts State Police troopers were able to locate a missing 11-year-old Springfield girl who had been abducted by strangers Wednesday afternoon.
An Amber Alert was issued for Charlotte Moccia at about 5 p.m. Wednesday but it was canceled after she was found in a car on the Massachusetts Turnpike just over two hours later.
State police said they received multiple 911 calls at about 7:15 p.m. from motorists driving on Interstate 90 east, who reported seeing a car that matched the description of the suspect vehicle in the area of Warren and Brimfield.
Troopers who were working a road construction detail in the area were able to limit traffic to a single lane and bring the flow of traffic to a crawl.
The troopers were able to spot the suspect vehicle and stopped it in the work zone. They found Charlotte in the back seat and instantly removed her from the vehicle.

Charlotte Moccia, 11, of Springfield

Springfield Police Dept.

Charlotte Moccia, 11, of Springfield

“We are grateful that we had an opportunity to find and rescue her before something even worse happened,” said Massachusetts State Police Lt. Charles Murray. “I’m just ecstatic that we were able to return her safely. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time.”
Troopers removed the man driving the car, 24-year-old Miguel Rodriguez, of Springfield, at gunpoint after spotting a knife in the pocket of the driver’s side door.
Rodriguez was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Charlton State Police Barracks for booking. He has since been transferred to the Springfield Police Department.

Miguel Rodriguez, 24, of Springfield, is escorted out of the Charlton State Police Barracks by state troopers on Jan. 15, 2020.

Miguel Rodriguez, 24, of Springfield, is escorted out of the Charlton State Police Barracks by state troopers on Jan. 15, 2020.

Charlotte had no apparent injuries and was evaluated by emergency medical services personnel before she was transported to an area hospital for further evaluation, according to officials.
“She’s an amazing little girl,” said Massachusetts State Police Lt. Bob Ackerman. “I couldn’t believe how she kept it all together and just speaking with us. It’s amazing. I can’t believe how strong she was dealing with this.”
Charlotte’s family had gathered at a home in Springfield and erupted in celebration when they were notified that she had been found safe.
Springfield police said Charlotte was returning home from Hampden Charter School of Science when she went missing Wednesday afternoon.
State police said she was forced into a blue Honda at 1:26 p.m. near the corner of Princeton and Amherst streets, not long after she got off her school bus.
“Once we realized what we had, we knew that time was of the essence,” said Springfield police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood. “This was not the kind of case that we could go home, or we could hand over or we could say, ‘We’ll continue this in the morning.’ This was an absolute life-and-death situation for this little girl, so we dedicated all our resources to it and we had a lot of help.
“Thank you to the public for helping us out. It has come to a very good conclusion, I feel.”
State police investigators reported that Rodriguez was walking behind Charlotte and forced her into the back of an older model blue Honda that was being driven by a female.
“When I came out, I heard the kid hollering for help,” a witness said. “By the time I got down (to the road) to try to get the plate number, all I could see was an individual bent over, throwing her in the back. He shut the door and the car took off.”

The blue Honda that is believed to be involved in the abduction of 11-year-old Charlotte Moccia, of Springfield, Massachusetts, on Jan. 15, 2020.

Massachusetts State Police

The blue Honda that is believed to be involved in the abduction of 11-year-old Charlotte Moccia, of Springfield, Massachusetts, on Jan. 15, 2020.

Springfield police believe a female may have been involved at the time of the abduction.
Clapprood said Rodriguez is known to Springfield police and that he is expected to face additional charges.
The Springfield Police Department will continue to investigate the abduction.
State police also thanked the motorists who paid attention to the Amber Alert.
“They made this rescue possible,” Murray said.
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