Host of `America's Most Wanted' Says Kidnapped Florida Girl 'in Dire Straits'Aired March 8, 2000 - 2:54 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, earlier, we told you the story of a kidnapping in Florida. A 10-year-old girl, Jessica Rodriguez, was apparently snatched from her driveway in front of her sisters by a man.
There, on your screen, it's a description of Jessica: 10 years old, black hair, brown eyes, approximately 4 feet 5 inches tall. She was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans and a blue Charlotte Hornets windbreaker.
There is a composite sketch of the suspect that we'll be showing you right now.
We want to talk with John Walsh, the host of "America's Most Wanted." He's been looking at this case, has been to Florida.
What more can you tell us about this story, Mr. Walsh?
JOHN WALSH, HOST, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": Well, this girl is in dire straits. I mean, this is, obviously a case of foul play.
This guy grabbed this little girl, grabbed Jessica. Again, we always tell kids: Do not go up and give adults help, give adults directions. But she did it, unfortunately. He pulled over. He was waiting when they got off the bus, she and her two little sisters, an 8-year-old and a 4-year-old. And he asked her, Where do you live? And when she got next to the Jeep Cherokee, he grabbed her and put her in the back.
The sisters have given somewhat of a good composite. We're going to try to get a product called "Faces," a CD-ROM, to the Florida police to see if they can re-interview the sisters and make a better composite.
But this little girl is in real, real trouble. And we're asking anybody that knows anything or thinks they know someone that fits the description, that lives in the area -- it's a white male about five- seven to five-ten in his 30s with brown hair, driving an '80s, late '80s, early '90s dark green or gray Jeep Cherokee. They can call law enforcement, or they can call "America's Most Wanted" at 1-800-CRIME- TV. They can remain anonymous. We won't drag them into the case. We are just desperate to find out where this little girl is because time is of the essence. ALLEN: Right. What did you make of the fact that this was a rural area and he pulled up right after the school bus dropped them off? Does that make you think this was a planned abduction? And if so, what does that tell investigators?
WALSH: Well, I know one thing that pedophiles always these days seem to pick rural areas because they know two things: Kids in the rural areas and the suburbs are less sophisticated, not as street- smart; they also know that law enforcement is stretched out. In rural areas, lots of times, it'll just be a small sheriff's department. And so, you know, this is not unusual. We've seen so many abductions in rural areas in the last year, and certainly, it's a predator. It's a pedophile, a tracker who has been looking for, you know, a girl to abduct. And he may have planned this ahead of time.
But again, the bottom line is we need a break in this case, we need a tip. I don't care if you think you know -- it's the most inconsequential thing that breaks cases. So I'm begging people to look at that composite. If you know anything, call 1-800-CRIME TV. We're not going to get you involved. Just give us a tip, we'll turn it over to law enforcement and let them do their job.
ALLEN: John Walsh, thank you for joining us to talk about this story.
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