Friday, February 27, 2015

Cops seeking new person of interest in kidnapping; reward increases to $80K

Police on Monday announced that they're looking for a third person of interest -- a teenage girl -- in connection with the kidnapping of a 5-year-old girl from her classroom at a West Philadelphia school two weeks ago.

Cops seeking new person of interest in kidnapping; reward increases to $80K

Police on Monday announced that they're looking for a third person of interest -- a teenage girl -- in connection with the kidnapping of a 5-year-old girl from her classroom at a West Philadelphia school two weeks ago.

The new person of interest in the case, according to investigators, may go by the name "China" or "Chyna" and is described as black, between 14 and 17 years old, thin, and has a light complexion and long, straight black hair. She was seen wearing a hooded sweatshirt and tights.

The reward for information leading to the kidnappers in the case, which has stumped investigators to this point, has been increased to $80,000, police said Monday.

Special Victims Unit Capt. John Darby also said that through extensive interviews and a trip back to the neighborhood with the victim, investigators have determined that the abductor walked the child west from the school. They have expanded their search, Darby said, to the 6200 block of Larchwood Avenue.

Days after the Jan. 14 kidnapping, police released descriptions of two other people wanted in the abduction: the woman who snatched the little girl from her classroom at Bryant Elementary, at 60th Street and Cedar Avenue, and a man who joined her at a house several blocks away where the girl was held.

The woman is described as black, in her late 20s, 5 feet 5 to 5 feet 8 and thin with a dark complexion and light, possibly green, eyes. She may be pregnant and wore a dark-colored niqab and face covering at the time of the abduction. Police said she may go by the name "Rashida."

The man, who police believe met the abductor and the young victim at a house within blocks of the school, is described as a possibly white man in his mid-30s with a light complexion and short brown hair. He wore sweatpants and a blue long-sleeved T-shirt, police said.

The girl was found less than 24 hours after her abduction abandoned, half-dressed at a playground in Upper Darby near 69th Street and Marshall Road. She was not seriously physically harmed, police said.

Tipsters should contact the Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3251 or -3252, the police tip line at 215-686-TIPS (8477), text a tip to PPD TIP (773847) or submit a tip online.

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Philly Confidential, which covers crime in Philadelphia and the suburbs, is written by Daily News staffers Dana DiFilippo, Stephanie Farr, Vinny Vella and Morgan Zalot.

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