When Your Child is Kidnapped

The car was discovered...

The car was discovered in a run-down part of Detroit. The cops think that when the kidnapper learned of the Amber Alert, he got scared and ditched the car -- and Jenna. In the morning, someone called the police to say they'd spotted a little girl in an abandoned vehicle. When the cops arrived, they found Jenna unharmed and still strapped into her car seat -- just as she had been when the kidnapper drove away.

When we got the news, we raced to the hospital where Jenna had been taken for a checkup. I ran to her and held her close. I tried to control myself; I didn't want her to see me cry. She'd already been through so much.

"I peed in Grandma's car," was the first thing Jenna said to me.

Aside from being tired and hungry, she seemed fine. A few hours later, we brought her home. She was all smiles when we arrived to a huge welcome party -- complete with TV cameras -- on our front lawn.

Jenna knows all about what happened: that a bad man tried to take the car while she was in it. She talks about it often, which we encourage her to do. "Mommy, you were looking for me when I was gone," she'll say. "That's right," I tell her.

Unfortunately, the police have not yet found her abductor. I pray that they will soon. I just want him to get what he deserves. As for me, I keep reminding myself how lucky I am. Far too many child abductions end in tragedy. Thankfully, my daughter made it home safe and sound.

Copyright © 2003 Lee Ann Hart, as told to Julie Weingarde Dubin. Reprinted with permission from the September 2003 issue of Parents Magazine.

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