Great relief as kidnapped girl is found

SIX-year-old Abigail Sarah Reji, who was abducted in a car by a group of four from Oyur, Kollam, on Monday evening, has been found.

Abigail was found abandoned at Kollam Aashram Maidan.

The child was found after a 20-hour-long search.

The child, who was in the custody of the Kollam East Police, has been shifted to the hospital.

It is reported that her health is satisfactory.

The search for the child's abductors continues. It is reported that they left after leaving the child.

The News Minute adds:

MORE than 20 hours after Abigail Sara Reji, a six-year-old child was abducted near her home at Oyoor in Kollam, the police found her from the Asramam Maidan in the city, about 25 km away from her home on Tuesday.

The four people who kidnapped her, one of them a woman, abandoned the child before absconding. With the police having traced the details of the car in which Sara was kidnapped, and made a sketch of one of the kidnappers, it is believed that the kidnappers found it untenable to keep the kid with them. The police also asked people to call a dedicated helpline in case of any information.

Circulating visuals indicate that some passersby identified the child and immediately alerted the police. The Kollam East police rushed to the spot and took custody of the child before bringing her back to the comfort of home. Initial reports say her health is stable. Today she will be in the hospital under observation and will be handed over to the parents on Wednesday.

Abigail Sara was abducted on the evening of November 27, as the child was walking to her tuition centre near her home. 

Abigail was walking with her eight-year-old brother Jonathan when the kidnappers came in a car and abducted the child. Jonathan later said that the kidnappers had given a paper asking him to give it to their mother.

“I did not take it, and then they dragged her into the car. I hit them using a stick, but they did not let her go,” he told the media. He said there were three men and a woman in the vehicle.

The abduction occurred around 4.45 pm, three hours after which Abigail’s mother received the first ransom call from the kidnappers, demanding Rs 5 lakh. Two hours later, around 9.30 pm, a subsequent call raised the ransom amount to Rs 10 lakh. The family also received instructions to arrange the money by 10 am on Tuesday without involving law enforcement.

The police had commenced a search operation immediately, with the help of the local residential community who soon rallied together to find the child. The search was initially focused on the bordering areas of Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts.

A sketch of one of the kidnappers was released on Tuesday morning based on the description of a shopkeeper in Parippally, from whose shop the first ransom call was made. Eye-witnesses at the shop reported that a man and a woman, arriving in an auto-rickshaw, made these purchases before leaving.

“There were two people, a woman and a man. They came on an auto-rickshaw and asked for biscuits at the shop,” the shopkeeper said.