SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - An 11-year-old girl was found safe and a suspect has been arrested after an Amber Alert was issued Wednesday, Massachusetts State Police said.
Charlotte Moccia, of Springfield, was recovered by troopers on the Turnpike in Charlton after a motorist reported seeing the car she was abducted in, state police spokesman David Procopio said.
“We’re eternally grateful to the motorist who paid attention to the Amber Alert and called and reported seeing the vehicle. There were a number of those calls,” State Police Lt. Charles Murray said. “They made this rescue possible.”
“We are grateful that we had an opportunity to find and rescue her before something even worse happened," he added.
A preliminary investigation suggested the girl was forced into a blue car by a man around 1:30 p.m. after getting off the school bus.
She was rescued about six hours later from the 24-year-old Miguel Rodriguez's vehicle. State Police Lt. Bob Ackerman said the alleged kidnapper was taken out at gunpoint.
“It all happened so fast but I distinctly recall the other trooper on the other side of the vehicle taking her out of the car and once I saw her in his hands, I knew she was safe," Ackerman said.
“She’s an amazing little girl. I couldn’t believe how she kept it all together and just speaking with us, it’s amazing,” he said. “I can’t believe how strong she was dealing with this.”
The victim had no apparent injuries but was being checked out by medical officials as a precaution.
Rodriguez was taken to the State Police Charlton Barracks for booking.
The suspect's father told Masslive.com that his son has a history of mental illness, including schizophrenia and paranoia.
“We knew that sooner or later he was going to do something of this nature,” Henry Rodriguez said, “but not something this crazy.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.