Thankfully, the child’s abductor was spotted by good Samaritan LaShay Burks(pictured), who is being credited for helping police in Antioch, Ill., capture the alleged kidnapper and making it possible for the little girl to return to her mother’s waiting arms.
The harrowing event occurred on Friday evening when the unidentified mother and young daughter went to a local Walmart to do some shopping. When the pair arrived home, Douglas allegedly confronted them on the street, grabbed the child and threatened to shoot the mom with a rifle.
Douglas was able to get away with the child. An Amber Alert was immediately issued, describing Douglas and the gold-colored Toyota Camry he had been driving. Meanwhile, Burks and her sister had been sitting in their vehicle at the Antioch Marina when they observed a vehicle parked next to theirs and noticed a man inside behaving in an odd fashion.
“We had been sitting next to that car for about twenty minutes,” said Burks. “I just knew there was a body laying down, and I kept telling my sister, ‘There’s someone in that car.’”
Coincidentally, Burks then received a call from another sister alerting her to a local kidnapping, the car’s description and how the suspect was armed and dangerous. Despite her sister’s warning, Burks felt compelled to investigate the car. “I got out, and I walked around the car but my sister said, ‘Be careful, he has a gun.’ So I was gonna knock on the window, but instead I saw another car pull up,” said Burks
David Douglas is accused of kidnapping a 7-year-old girl from her Antioch home on January 3, 2014. (CBS)
The car pulling up beside her was an unmarked police cruiser and Burks seized the opportunity to try to alert the driver.
“So I went to my car and I just honked the horn, and the car that stopped was a police officer, undercover, and I kept honking the horn and he jumped out with a gun and told the guy get out of the car,” Burks told KTVU.
The officer arrested Douglas at the marina and the child was safely delivered to her mother at the police station.
According to police, Douglas does not have a rap sheet for sexual offenses or serious crimes. He did, however, allegedly try to lure another child away from her mother at the very same Antioch Walmart the day before he kidnapped the 7-year-old child.
When Douglas reportedly made the earlier kidnapping attempt, there were no weapons used or police reports filed, but his license plate was taken down.
Meanwhile, Burks is ecstatic she was instrumental in helping to get a little girl away from her kidnapper. “I’m blessed to be able to help somebody else out. I’m thankful I was there, and I think everything happens for a reason,” said Burks, who has elementary school-aged nieces. “What if it was one of ours? And that made me say, ‘I got to get out, I got to go check this out,’” said Burks.
As far as the child, it is unknown if she suffered sexual abuse at the hands of her abductor.