Amber alert success!
A three-year-old girl was rescued by cops after an amber alert was issued and notified them of the kidnappers’ location.
On the morning of Monday, February 10, Madeline Mejia was strapped into the backseat of her father Lester’s car when he ran back in his Apopka, Florida house to retrieve his keys. Upon returning to his vehicle, she'd already been abducted.
Lester attempted to follow the unknown driver of a black Honda, but eventually lost sight of the car as it sped up. He did, however, take down his license plate number, which he later gave to cops during their investigation. After five hours in a Cessna plane, the Federal Department of Law Enforcement agents spotted the suspect’s vehicle and alerted ground workers who stopped the vehicle on Interstate 10 near Tallahassee.
The FDLE later released a photo of the life-saving moment where Madeleine was lifted out of the car, further confirming her rescue with a tweet.
“The Florida AMBER Alert for 3-year-old Madeline Mejia has been resolved,” they wrote on Twitter. “The child is safe! Thank you for sharing this alert!”
Lt. Kim Montes described the situation as “very traumatic,” adding the toddler “was scared.”
Amid her life-saving rescue, four people, three men and one woman, were arrested: Kevin Olmeda-Velis, 19, Tania Fortin-Duarte, 18, and two of which were not named.
Following Madeline’s release, her father explained the pain and agony he’d experienced while his daughter was kidnapped.
“It was anguish not knowing what was happening to my daughter,” Lester told WFTV9. “I’m happy for my baby coming back. She was happy to be home”.
Lester told cops he was unaware of who would take his daughter or why, noting that he has a good relationship with Madeline’s mother who is said to live in a different state.
It is not yet clear if the vehicle, which was headed to Texas, was en route to the mother.
Police Chief Michael McKinley backed Lester’s uncertainty regarding his daughter’s kidnapping. “Obviously he didn’t think this was the morning someone was going to grab Madeline. We don’t all think about that,” he said.