MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The mother of a girl who was abducted by a man in South Memphis was overjoyed to find out a suspect was arrested Thursday, but her family still has to deal with the trauma.
There’s a sigh of relief in South Memphis after police, along with the FBI and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, arrested the man responsible for a series of rapes and abductions involving children in the area.
Police said the man accused of raping and abducting multiple children was identified by two juveniles.
We spoke with a mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, who said the man kidnapped her teenage daughter on Good Friday.
“It’s crazy. It’s mind puzzling. It’s a lot to worry about,” she said.
She said her daughter had walked to the park behind Hamilton High School with her siblings. When the man saw the teen alone, he pulled up and put a gun to her head.
“He had a gun,” she said. “He made her get in the car, but she actually got away. It was the grace of God he didn’t do anything to her.”
Soon after the man snatched her daughter, she said his car broke down, and the teen was able to run away, making it home unharmed.
“It was something he was dealing with that made his car mess up. That’s when she was able to get away,” her mother said. “She’s been having a difficult time, but she’s alright.”
Police have not said how many cases are linked to the suspect or the total number of victims. But Marquiepta Odom-Williams with the YWCA said being a young sexual assault victim herself, it’s important for all the victims, whether sexually assaulted or not, to get counseling.
“The trauma can be unbearable unless they do receive the proper mental health as well as other services that that child and family will need,” Odom-Williams said.
She said if it is not addressed, the emotional distress could leave some children living in fear.
“It is something that torments you. It can torment you day and night and all the what ifs and if someone else is following me, is the car following me, is this person following me,” Odom-Williams said.
MPD is asking any other victims or people who were offered a ride in the South Memphis area to call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.