In about 12 hours, 16-year-old Karol Sanchez was kidnapped in the Bronx and then found near the area where she was taken around 11:20 p.m while walking alongside her mother, 36, on Monday. The shocking surveillance footage showed Sanchez being snatched by two men in black who jumped out of a beige four-door sedan with two other men inside, and pushing her mother to the floor when she tried to fight back.
🚨WANTED🚨for a KIDNAPPING in the vicinity of East 156 Street and Eagle Avenue #Southbronx #bronx @NYPD40pct on 12/16/[email protected] 11:20PM 💰Reward up to $2500👓Seen this car? Know who They are?☎️Call 1-800-577-TIPS or DM us!📞Calls are CONFIDENTIAL! #YourCityYourCall pic.twitter.com/h26y6HDNN9
— NYPD Crime Stoppers (@NYPDTips) December 17, 2019
The details of what happened remain unclear, but the police said she was found on the same block where she had been abducted a couple of hours after an Amber Alert was issued around 10 a.m. On Tuesday afternoon, Sanchez was being questioned by officers from the 40th Precinct, according to the police, the New York Times reports.
WABC-TV journalist Kemberly Richardson posted the emotional reunion between mother and daughter after Sanchez was found safe.
She’s alive! Karol Sanchez was just dropped at a park near where she was kidnapped last night, then the 16 yr old walked up street where police were posted. She was reunited w her family. No details on what happened, she appears to be ok, emotional reunion! @abc7ny #abc7ny pic.twitter.com/NusfkJlFV2
— Kemberly Richardson (@kemrichardson7) December 17, 2019
After the Amber Alert and surveillance footage was released, “Karol Sanchez” began trending on social media and her cousin also posted, pleading for anyone who could help find her.
WCBS-TV reported that Sanchez and her family live in Dutchess County, which is located about 75 miles north of New York City, they were in the Bronx visiting family friends.
“I heard screeching of tires,” witness Damon Doughty told the New York Daily News. “I went to the window and when I got there, there were three people in a car and the guy in the backseat was kicking the mom out of the back seat. Then they grabbed the daughter back into the car because it looked like she tried to get away. Then the car sped off. She (the victim’s mother) ran and she was screaming. She was just screaming and yelling.”
WE HAVE A VICTORY TODAY !! Karol has been found !!! Thank you to all who have worked very hard to track down the people involved in this case !!! pic.twitter.com/TYD7IlU49N
— NYPD 40th Precinct (@NYPD40Pct) December 17, 2019
A police official said the family was contemplating a move to their native Honduras, but that Sanchez wants to remain in the U.S., NY Times reports. Investigators had been trying to determine if the potential move played a role in the kidnapping, according to the NY Times.
Investigators said Sanchez did not know her kidnappers and that the men are wanted for questioning. They have been identified as four adult males in their 20s with dark complexions wearing dark clothing.
A police source told the New York Daily News Tuesday afternoon that Sanchez admitted it was a hoax,“It was staged,” the source said. “Once they realized what they did, with the amber alert on their phones, it was like, ‘Oh, s–t, we got a problem.’” The publication reports that the alleged kidnappers are friends of hers and she set it all up to get away from her “strict mom.” At this time Sanchez or her family have not commented on what happened.