In Louisville, Kentucky, on July 2, a 6-year-old girl was kidnapped, and if it hadn’t been for the vigilance of local citizens and the police department, her story could have ended very differently.
The 6-year-old girl was reportedly riding her bike when 40-year-old Robby Wildt spotted her. He didn’t know her, had no connection to her, but he decided to strike.
Later, he explained to police that “he saw the victim playing outside near the street, circled the block and then took her from the side of the road,” according to reports obtained by WLKY-TV.
Thankfully, locals had seen the attack, and several called 911 to report the incident, providing detailed descriptions and partial plate numbers. One witness even tailed the kidnapper for a while.
During that time, the girl was obviously distressed and crying, and Wildt later said that as he drove he tried to “console her before deciding he knew what he was doing was wrong.”
He then allegedly headed back to the spot he’d picked the girl up, intending to let her go. He also mentioned that he had begun to fear that he had hurt her.
Before he had a chance to have another change of heart or drop the girl off and get away, Sgt. Joe Keeling spotted him and detained him.
Keeling kept Wildt in place until backup arrived. Officer Jason Burba was one of the officers who showed up a short time later, and based on the bodycam footage, he approached the suspect’s car, demanding the passenger open the door.
One of the other officers told him “it might be our victim,” and once Burba determined that the passenger was the distraught little girl, his demeanor changed immediately.
“Hello,” he said in an upbeat voice. “It’s OK. Come here, come here. It’s OK.”
The poor child was sobbing and cried, “I want my daddy.” No doubt her parents were anxious to be reunited with her, too.
Thanks to everyone’s quick work, the girl was recovered in less than half an hour.
“Fortunately the entire incident only lasted about 30 minutes due to the quick actions of the community and LMPD,” officials confirmed in a statement, according to WLKY.
Everyone is thankful the girl was found. Authorities are using the incident as a sober reminder to train children to be aware of their surroundings and beware of strangers.
Wildt has repeatedly said he feels bad about his actions and knows what he did was wrong.
He has since been taken to Louisville Metro Corrections and is facing charges of kidnapping a minor. His bond has been set at $1 million, and according to information given to CNN, he has not posted bail as of Thursday afternoon.
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