Police find missing Springfield girl, 11, during traffic stop; 1 arrested


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WPRI) ─ Police have arrested a Springfield man in connection with the disappearance of a missing 11-year-old girl after finding her inside his vehicle during a traffic stop.

Massachusetts State Police issued an Amber Alert Wednesday evening after Charlotte Moccia was reported missing.

Police believe Miguel Rodriguez, 24, forced Moccia, a Hampden Charter School student, into his car around 1:30 p.m. after she got off the school bus.

A couple of hours after issuing the Amber Alert, police received a 911 call from a driver who saw the suspected vehicle on the Massachusetts Turnpike.

Police stopped the vehicle in a work zone between Sturbridge and Auburn and found Moccia safe inside the car.

“The biggest factor in this was the tips from the public,” Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood said. “People were out looking for this car, it was amazing. Civilians spotted this car and helped us out immensely.”

Rodriguez was immediately taken into custody. Police said a knife was found inside his vehicle.

This article has been updated after police issued a correction on how many people were arrested.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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