Sources: Investigators looking into whether Bronx Amber Alert abduction was staged

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Wednesday, December 18, 2019
Sources: Investigators looking into whether abduction was staged
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Jim Dolan reports on the investigation into whether the abduction of a teenager was staged.

MELROSE, Bronx (WABC) -- A 16-year-old girl whose caught-on-camera kidnapping sparked an Amber Alert has been found safe, but sources tell Eyewitness News that investigators are looking into the possibility the abduction was staged.

Police say Karol Sanchez walked up to her relative's Bronx apartment building Tuesday, more than 12 hours after she was grabbed by a group of men.

She met with police and was taken to the local precinct.

Further details of her safe return are unknown at this time, and more information will be posted as it becomes available.

Sanchez and her family did not answer questions from reporters when she was released from the 40th Precinct Tuesday night.

The alleged abduction, which happened around 11:30 p.m. Monday in the 700 block of Eagle Avenue, sent shock waves through the neighborhood.

Surveillance video released by the NYPD showed two men jumping out of a car and grabbing Sanchez as she walked with her mom.

Her mom tried to fight back but was pushed away as Sanchez was forced into the beige four-door sedan with two other men inside.

The car with four men and the victim inside then drove off, fleeing east on Eagle Avenue.

Police said the four men in the car are known to Sanchez, but not to her mother. Sources tell Eyewitness News that the girl's mother wanted to move them back to Honduras but that she didn't want to go.

The apparent motive appears to be to get the girl away from her mother, the result of ongoing tensions between the two.

Sources say the plan started to unravel around 10 a.m. Tuesday when the men got the Amber Alert notifications on their phones.

Sanchez surfaced early Tuesday afternoon, first at a park near her home and then at a parking garage where she was reunited with her family.

Sanchez is said to be making statements to police indicating the incident was staged. They are investigating, and it is unclear if anyone will be charged.

The incident had other parents and kids in the neighborhood concerned.

"I always take her to school and pick her up," parent Joy Bates said. "Hopefully nothing like that...I might get kidnapped, too."

"My cousin told me, 'Don't say a word, don't walk near a curb, be careful for vans that look suspicious,'" 11-year-old Paige Innis said.

The men wanted for questioning in the case are described as four adult males in their 20s with dark complexions. All were wearing dark clothing.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

You can also submit tips by visiting the CrimeStoppers website at or by messaging on Twitter @NYPDTips.


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