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BellaOnline's Missing and Exploited Children Editor

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Calista Cordova Escapes Kidnapper Jose Garcia


A 9-year-old girl Colorado girl, Calista Cordova was the center of an Amber Alert issued in Pueblo, Colorado when she failed to return home after school on Thursday. Calista Cordova’s mother called the police reporting her daughter missing when she did not arrive home at the usual time. Authorities soon activated the local amber alert system fearing the worst had happened to the little girl.

At some point, the kidnapper’s car broke down and the two received a ride from a couple who drove them to a Circle K convenient store in Colorado Springs. Once at the Circle K nine-year-old Calista Cordova made her move. She ran inside asking to use the phone to call her uncle, and instead she dialed 911. Then she confronted the man who kidnapped her as he entered the store in an attempt to get her to come with him.

When Jose Garcia entered the store she refused to go with him yelling “I am not going anywhere with you!” That is when Jose Garcia ran from the Circle K, however he was not on the run and police currently have him in custody. Tonight a very bad man is off the streets, hopefully for the rest of his life, thanks to the bravery of one young person.

On the TODAY show, former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt reminded parents to talk to their children on how to respond if confronted in a similar situation. According to Van Zandt, parents should teach kids to “always fight” and to never “go willingly.” In addition, Van Zandt, says if you are in a public place and someone is trying to take you forcefully yell, “You are not my mother or father” and if possible knock things over or off shelves, do anything to draw attention to your situation.

Calista Cordova ended up with a cut lip, two black eyes, and some bruises. Medically she is fine, and tonight thanks to her quick thinking, she is safe at home with her family less than 20 hours after her ordeal began. The case is however, far from over, as authorities believe Jose Garcia is responsible for molesting at least one other child and perhaps many more children. Anyone who may have had contact with Jose Garcia is encouraged to contact authorities.
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Content copyright © 2013 by Erika Lyn Smith. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Erika Lyn Smith. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Erika Lyn Smith for details.

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