Teen walking dog hears muffled cries coming from car boot, leads police to kidnapped man
A New Jersey teenager out for a walk with her dog on Thursday morning likely saved a kidnapped man's life by leading authorities to his location.
Kayla Rose, a 17-year-old from Irvington, New Jersey, was strolling around her neighbourhood when she thought she heard someone crying for help from inside a car's trunk.
"I heard knocking and scratching on the trunk of the car, and I just backed up because I was scared," Rose told WABC. "And then I heard it again. And then I said, 'Hello?' And he was like, 'Hello, can anybody help me?'"
Rose told the station she was frightened by the ordeal and ran back to her house to alert her mother, Marie Banks, who, in turn, called 911 and recruited several neighbours to help, including Joe Bollaro.
"I got a crowbar and tried to pop it, but it just bent the metal," Bollaro told WABC. "The cops were coming, so ... I said, 'They're coming. Hold on.' I said, 'Can you breath? He said, 'Yeah.'"
First responders were able to open the trunk, where they found the victim, who was "shaken" and "beat up" but ultimately in decent spirits, according to Rose's mother.
"I guess he was very happy, thankful for my daughter that she found him," she told the station.
The victim was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Police say the man was abducted in Hillside, New Jersey, on Wednesday evening and brought to several ATM machines by two armed captors, who allegedly forced him to withdraw unspecified amounts of cash.
The incident remains under investigation. The Union County Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.