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Abducted girl escapes


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  • Abducted girl escapes

    Wow! This kid is a fighter.

    Police: Philly Girl Found Alive
    By David B. Caruso
    Associated Press Writer
    Tuesday, July 23, 2002; 10:29 PM

    PHILADELPHIA –– A 7-year-old girl who authorities said had been abducted from in front of her home was found Tuesday, nearly 24 hours after her disappearance, and appeared to be unharmed, police said.

    Lt. Michael Chitwood said the girl, Erica Pratt, was able to summon help after breaking a window at an abandoned building in northern Philadelphia where she was being held by her captors.

    Her arms and legs had been bound with duct tape, and she was left on a mattress in the basement of the building, Chitwood said.

    "She was eventually able to free herself from the duct tape, she broke through the basement door, she made her way to the first floor and she couldn't get out, so she smashed the window," Chitwood said. "And she summoned help of a couple of little kids who were playing in front of the house."

    The children pulled Erica out of the window, and one of them rode their bikes down the street to where there were some officers, he said.

    Police said they were searching for two men, James Burns, 29, and Edward Johnson, 23, who are considered suspects in the abduction. Police said earlier only that they were known to the girl's family and that their names had been provided by two witnesses.

    Erica was playing Monday evening with her 5-year-old sister in front of their grandmother's rowhouse in southwest Philadelphia when two men drove up, called her by name and dragged her into their car as she screamed and resisted, witnesses told police said.

    Less than 20 minutes later, Erica's grandmother received the first of at least six calls from a man who threatened to kill the girl unless he received a $150,000 ransom, police said.

    During one of the calls, shortly before midnight, police said the kidnappers put Erica on the phone and allowed her to speak briefly with her grandmother.

    Earlier Tuesday, police had said they were seeking to question two men who know the girl's family. It wasn't immediately clear late Tuesday if authorities were still searching for the men.

    Residents said many adults in the neighborhood were down the street at a block party at the time of the abduction. The area is pockmarked with abandoned buildings and roamed at night by drug dealers.

    Erica's mother, Serena Gillis, had pleaded for her safe return.

    "Do not harm her," Gillis said. "She's just beginning her life."

  • #2
    i'm just glad she is safe and unharmed. hopefully the thugs that abducted her will be found face down in a river soon.
    I'll post, You argue.


    • #3
      Wow! What an amazing little girl! I heard on the news that she actually ate through the duct tape.

      I'm so glad to hear a positive outcome in the rash of child abductions that have occurred recently.
      No partner is worth your tears -
      the one that is won't make you cry. - Anonymous

      <a href=" Raychel&ByArtist=Yes" target="_blank">My Photo Gallery</a>


      • #4
        She undoubtedly saved her own life by doing this. This kid has moxey!
        6P1 (retired)


        • #5
          What a story. Thank God for happy endings.
          Oh... Oh... I know you di-int!


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