WASHINGTON (AP) — A 911 call led officers in Washington, D.C., to an 11-year-old girl who authorities believe was kidnapped Sunday after her grandparents were slain in North Carolina, police said.
A female in the car described in an Amber Alert called 911 Sunday saying she had been kidnapped, Maj. Mike Smathers of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said at a news conference. Based on the caller’s description of her location, Smathers says police searched the area for the car. Police didn’t say whether the caller was the missing girl, Arieyana Forney.
“The D.C. Metro Police flooded that area and were looking for this car, our White Impala, that we’d been broadcasting and were able to locate that car and they were able to take the occupants of that car into custody and recover Arieyana safely,” Smathers said.
After a chase and crash near Washington’s monuments and memorials, Metropolitan Police Department Capt. David Sledge said the kidnapping suspect was arrested. Forney and a woman also were found in the car. The car’s driver was taken into custody and the girl was taken to a hospital, but appears to be OK, said D.C. police Capt. David Sledge.
The girl’s uncle, Curtis Atkinson Jr., is suspected of killing his parents at their Charlotte home and is being held in Washington on local charges, police in North Carolina said. He was expected to appear in court Monday in the District of Columbia.
Nikkia Cooper, 25, the third person in the car, is being held in Washington on drug charges, police said. They said detectives are working to determine why she was with Atkinson and what her involvement was, if any.
Mark Czerner told The Washington Post that he was photographing cherry blossoms near the Washington Monument when he heard what was likely the sound of the crash.
“I heard a loud thud,” Czerner said, adding that he then saw police with guns drawn approach the car. Someone was pulled from the driver’s seat and after the front passenger side door was pried open, two more people were pulled out.
He said one appeared to be the girl and she sat crying on a curb next to an officer.
Police in North Carolina plan to seek charges against Atkinson in the deaths of his parents, Ruby Atkinson, 62, and Curtis Atkinson Sr., 63. They were Forney’s grandparents. Curtis Atkinson Jr. lived in the home, police said.
Officers were called to the Atkinsons’ home Sunday morning to assist fire officials with a call about a house fire, police said. The victims were found dead inside the home. Police learned that a white Chevrolet Impala left the scene just before firefighters arrived and an Amber Alert was later issued for help finding Forney and the car.