MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man is behind bars after being accused of kidnapping a 13-year-old girl, and the actions of a Shelby County Sheriff’s deputy are being praised for helping to save her.
Things ended early Tuesday morning. The suspect, 19-year-old Carlos Garcia, got on police radar after he was reportedly seen at a closed city park with another girl, who is 12 years old.
Garcia is accused of holding a girl against her will. Court documents reveal Garcia is accused of riding around with the victim and her male friends. Police say at some point he dropped them off, but continued driving around with the girl until being stopped in the 5600 block of Riverdale Drive.
A Shelby County deputy stopped Garcia because he matched the description of the suspect in the earlier incident with a 12-year-old.
During the search of his car, deputies located the victim, who is 13.
Court documents also revealed Garcia refused to take the girl home. She believed her life was in danger and possibly could have been sexually assaulted had law enforcement not pulled him over.
Latonia Smith, a concerned neighbor, said this underscores the importance of everyone remaining vigilant.
“We as a community need to make sure that we can stay vigilant and stay mindful and keep an eye out for everybody’s kid because at the end of the day, it takes a village to raise a child, and everybody kid is everybody’s kid at the end of the day,” she said.
Garcia has been booked in jail and charged with kidnapping among other charges. His bond is set at 10,000 dollars and is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.