A young girl abducted from her elementary school escaped her captors early Tuesday morning, ending a night-long search in Philadelphia for the missing child. Na’illa Robinson, 5, was found at about 4:40 a.m. near a playground on 69th Street, rescued by a man who heard her screams as he walked by. Na’illa was signed out and taken from her school on Monday morning by an unknown woman, but it was not until the students were dismissed for the day that the girl was identified as missing.
When she was found, the young girl was wearing only a T-shirt, taking shelter from cold weather and heavy rain beneath a jungle gym. When the passerby found her, she told him “I ran away, I ran away from the people who took me.”
Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood told Philly.com that police will focus on finding the kidnappers, now that Na’illa is safe.
Philadelphia police had announced a $10,000 reward for the child’s safe return on Monday night. The woman who took the girl out of school signed in as “Tiffany,” but the name is believed to be a fake. District officials said that according to protocol, any adult who removes a child from class must show identification and be verified as a parent or guardian. Those security measures were not taken on Monday morning.
Chitwood believes that Robinson’s abductors are likely based in the 69 Street-area where Na’illa was found. Police who picked the five-year-old up at the scene did not immediately interview her, instead choosing to have her treated and checked for any harm done.
“If she ran away, she ran away right in that area,” Chitwood told Philly.com. “A child is not going to be able to go that far. It had to be an animal to do something like this, to abduct a child and leave her in the park with just a T-shirt.”