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Man accused of abducting 11-Year old girl, prompting Amber Alert, to face judge

The child had just gotten off a school bus and was walking home when she was forced into an unknown car, prompting an Amber Alert
Credit: NBC Boston

BOSTON — The man accused of prompting an Amber Alert by allegedly kidnapping an 11-year-old girl in Springfield, Massachusetts was set to face a judge Thursday in connection with the abduction.

Miguel Rodriguez, 24, of Springfield, was arrested Wednesday in connection to the hourslong abduction of Charlotte Moccia. The 11-year-old had just gotten off a school bus shortly before 1:30 p.m. and was walking on Amherst Street toward her home when she was forced into an unknown car.

"I heard the girl screaming and [a man] throwing her in the back, and I did get a good look at the car," neighbor Julius Kenney said.

Kenney said he sprung into action when he heard the child yelling for help and tried to get the vehicle’s license plate number.

“My wife saw most of it,” the neighbor said. “When she started screaming and hollering, that’s when I got involved. I was in the front room and she was screaming I thought somebody was breaking in.”

State police released an image of a blue Honda they believed was involved in the kidnapping and an Amber Alert revealed a license plate number. Around 7:15 p.m., authorities began to receive multiple tips from drivers on the Massachusetts Turnpike that they spotted the suspect vehicle near Auburn and Sturbridge.

The suspect vehicle was spotted in a work zone and state police troopers were able to arrest Rodriguez. They confirmed the child was in the backseat of the car at the time of the arrest.

Moccia was abducted for more than 6 hours before her rescue. Her alleged abductor, Rodriguez, was taken into custody but authorities have not yet announced the charges he faces.

The man’s family told Telemundo Nueva Inglaterra that he suffers from schizophrenia and sometimes does not take his medication. They added that they were sorry for the victim’s family.

Rodriguez is slated to appear in Springfield District Court on Thursday. It is unclear if he has an attorney.