APOPKA, Fla. (AP) — State troopers safely recovered a 3-year-old girl who was abducted early Monday in central Florida, finding her inside a vehicle they stopped hours later on an interstate in the northern part of the state, authorities said.
The child was recovered safely around 11 a.m. on Interstate 10 near the state capital of Tallahassee, Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Kim Montes said in a news release.
News outlets reported that four adults inside the vehicle were taken into custody. Their names haven’t been released and investigators haven’t released a motive for the abduction or whether those in custody have any connection to the girl’s family.
The little girl was in her front yard with her father around 6 a.m. Monday, Montes said. The father went back inside to get his keys and heard his daughter screaming as a man took her into a black Honda with a temporary Texas license plate, a ccording to authorities.
Montes said the father jumped into his car and chased the vehicle. He pursued it from Apopka, a community northwest of Orlando, until he lost sight of it on Interstate 75 further north. The father didn’t have a cellphone, but he drove home and called authorities.
An AMBER alert was issued by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement around 9:30 a.m. It was canceled once the child was located.
News outlets reported the father told police he didn’t recognize the man driving the car, and that the child’s mother lives out of state.