Woman Arrested In Connection With Child Abduction Case - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Woman Arrested In Connection With Child Abduction Case

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Christina Regusters Christina Regusters
FOX 29 cameras captured the 5-year-old girl and her mother earlier this month as they walked through a West Philadelphia neighborhood with police. FOX 29 cameras captured the 5-year-old girl and her mother earlier this month as they walked through a West Philadelphia neighborhood with police.
This surveillance image released in January shows a person walking out of Bryant Elementary School with the 5-year-old girl. (Courtesy: Philadelphia Police) This surveillance image released in January shows a person walking out of Bryant Elementary School with the 5-year-old girl. (Courtesy: Philadelphia Police)
Police stand outside of the home that police say is connected with the abduction of a girl last month. Police stand outside of the home that police say is connected with the abduction of a girl last month.
PHILADELPHIA -

Philadelphia police arrested a 19-year-old woman Thursday night in connection with the abduction of a 5-year-old girl from her elementary school last month.

Police have formally charged Christina Regusters with 14 counts, including kidnapping, rape, conspiracy and unlawful restraint. Eleven of the counts are felonies.

Regusters allegedly worked at the daycare center the little girl attended.

Police say she is not cooperating, but they have forensic evidence and surveillance video linking her to the crime.

The 5-year-old was abducted last month from her Bryant Elementary School classroom. The abduction prompted police to issue an Amber Alert.

The girl was found the next morning. She was hiding under a slide at an Upper Darby park.

Last week, the girl led police back to a home on the 6200 block of Walton Street, where crime scene experts took carpeting, clothing and a distinctive bag, all of which were tested for DNA.

On Thursday, detectives returned to the home. In the morning, they took out four people for questioning. Then, investigators returned at night to execute a search warrant where earlier in the day.

Neighbors watched as police led a teen male, an adult male and two females into cars to be taken to the police department's Special Victim's Unit.

This same home was searched by police last week in connection to the abduction.

FOX 29 cameras were rolling as a man was escorted out of the home by police earlier Thursday. When asked if he had anything to say, the man replied "Yeah, not guilty."

Tom Kline, the attorney for the victim and her mother, told FOX 29, "Mom has been anxious, and of course, waiting for police to tell her more."

The three others who were questioned Thursday were released without being charged.

Friday morning, on his way into work, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said "We're pleased that we do have someone in custody."

"But the task force is going to stay together," Ramsey said. "We're not confident that we have totally wrapped this up yet. So, there's still more investigative work that has to take place. But, obviously it's a very solid step to at least have a person in custody who we strongly believe is responsible for at least part of this."

Despite the $105,000 reward, it was the girl herself who helped lead police to the Walton Street home. She remembered hearing the constant squawking of a bird and helped recognize a rear door to the home.

A macaw parrot was among the items taken from the home during a search of it.

"The girl's remarkable in terms of her strength and her memory, quite frankly," Ramsey said.

The police commissioner added, "We did receive some information from another person who was very instrumental in pointing us in the right direction, as well. So, we'll sort all of that once we wrap this case up. Right now, we have to continue to focus on this case and everyone who might have been involved."

Of the others who were questioned Thursday, Ramsey said, "Well, they were released because we didn't have sufficient information to hold them. And that's not to say that they're involved directly. We don't know. More investigative work has to continue."

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