6-year-old Stefanny Lenneth Lopez-Castro has been found alive and well after she was reportedly abducted on Wednesday night from her home in the Royal Palms community off Carolina Beach Road. The police found her on Thursday two miles away from her home where the suspect took her from. Official report that she is doing fine and feeling well.
The police arrested 46-year-old Douglas Edwards in New Hanover County on Thursday morning and they placed him in custody. The police charged the man with first-degree kidnapping.
The kidnapper is a recidivist
Police didn’t release any more details about Edwards apart from the fact that he is on the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry. In 1996 he was reportedly convicted for first-degree sexual offense and indecent liberties with a minor who, at the time, was just 6-years-old.
The sheriff explained that they put Edwards under surveillance the entire night. This morning, the authorities placed him in custody. Also, he said that the entire community offered to help with information and leads in order to catch the kidnapper. Edwards hasn’t revealed the exact location where he took the little girl.
Sheriff McMahon became emotional when he started talking about his little granddaughter who is the same age. Furthermore, he stated that in their community such things don’t happen often and that we should all be thankful to the kind people who helped catching the kidnapper. He admitted that this case was very personal for them.
Reportedly, the authorities have taken Stefanny Lenneth Lopez-Castro to the hospital to receive medical care. She is feeling well though. Seems like the kidnapper didn’t hurt her as she was feeling ok and seemed calm and silent. He might have intended to do so but he didn’t have the chance. The police got to him right on time.
A family reunited
The New Hanover Regional Medical Center sent a letter to the Castro family:
“We would like to first and foremost thank God, the police department, the sheriff’s office and all the communities that went out to search for her in the rain and on their own time. Thank you to our neighbors and friends and St. Mary’s Church who were praying for her and any others who were praying for her.”
In such a small community it is important that everybody helps with whatever they can. The family is extremely glad that the little girl has been found alive and well and asked for privacy in these happy moments. They were absolutely devastated when the little girl was taken.
An eye witness declared that they found the 6-year-old tied to a tree near the River Road. This is the location where the police were searching for the kidnapper. The same witness said that the little girl signaled him to stop and free her. He couldn’t in that specific moment but he then helped the authorities with a battery saw so that they could release the girl. He stated that the 6-year-old seemed very calm and silent upon her rescue from the kidnapper.
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