Heartbreaking moment police rescue three girl from Florida and arrest four kidnapper on the highway after being snatched from her front yard
- Madeline Meija was removed from her front garden in Apopka, Florida at 6:00 am
- Her father had just entered to collect his keys when she was caught
- Her father followed her abductor’s car until he lost sight of it on a highway
- The man then called the police, who took a plane to try and find it
- They found it five hours later, near Tallahassee, and ordered troopers on the ground to intervene
- The police then shared a photo of Madeline that was rescued on the highway
- Four people – three men and one woman – were arrested but not named
A three-year-old girl was rescued in Florida on Monday after an amber alarm was triggered when she was snatched from her father’s front yard.
Madeline Mejia sat in the front yard of her father Lester in Apopka, near Orlando, on Monday at about 6 o’clock when he ran back inside to get his keys.
In the few seconds that he was home again, he said he heard a shout.
Then he went back outside to find Madelina disappeared. She was torn away by a man who did not recognize her father and was placed in a car.
This is the moment when three-year-old Madeline Meija was rescued from the car of a kidnapper at I-10 near Tallahassee, Florida, five hours after being snatched from her father’s garden. The police used an aircraft to track the vehicle – which had traveled 250 miles away. Four people, three men and a woman, arrested, including the man handcuffed (right). They are not mentioned
The girl’s father followed the vehicle as it drove away but lost sight of it. He then had to return home because he had forgotten his cell phone, he said.
The police then took a Cessna plane to try and locate the vehicle. Lester could describe it and give their license plate.
Authorities found it about 5 hours later, 250 miles away, on Interstate 10 near Tallahassee. Patrol cars on the ground then dived and stopped the vehicle.
Madeline was in her front yard at 6:00 am when she was torn away. An amber alarm was issued later
They took Madeline out of the car and took her back to reunite with her father.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement shared a photo of the dramatic rescue on Monday afternoon.
It showed that Madeline grabbed hold of a cop while she was being lifted out of the car.
Four people – three men and one woman – were arrested, but the police did not release their name or motive.
Lt. Kim Montes Madeline “was scared” and that the situation was “very traumatic.”
The girl’s father said her mother lives in a different state. It is unclear whether that has anything to do with police theory that the car in which Madeline was driving was on his way to Texas.
Madeline and her father gave an interview afterwards in which he described the five hours apart from each other as “fear.”
“It was fear not to know what happened to my daughter. I’m glad my baby is coming back, “Lester Mejia said WFTV9.
Madeline with her father Lester after they were reunited on Monday. He said it was “fear,” not knowing where she was