Girl, 15, escapes abductor in Columbia


Howard County police are searching for a man who briefly abducted a 15-year-old girl as she walked home from school in Columbia on Thursday afternoon, police said.

Officers also want to talk to a man they believe witnessed the kidnapping and who may have helped the teen-ager escape by blowing the horn of the small red car he was driving.

The Oakland Mills High School student was uninjured during the kidnapping about 3:30 p.m. Thursday, police said.

She told police she saw a van drive by several times along Oakland Mills Road near Sewells Orchard Drive.

The teen-ager told police she became suspicious and walked down another street, police said.

As she walked south on Oakland Mills Road, the van returned, coming from the opposite direction, police said.

The driver stopped the van and asked the teen-ager to get inside. When the girl refused, police said the man got out of the van and forced her inside.

The man implied he had a gun, but never showed one, police said.

During the abduction, the girl noticed a red car stopped in the roadway, police said.

The driver of the red car apparently followed the van for about a mile to the intersection of Oakland Mills and Old Montgomery roads and began blowing his horn, police said.

When the van's driver was distracted, the girl was able to jump from the vehicle and run away. She went home and called police.

The abductor was described as an unshaven white man in his late 40s, between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet tall, weighing 170 to 180 pounds, police said.

During the abduction the man was wearing light-colored work cloths.

He drove a late-model navy blue van with a multicolored rainbow design on the rear passenger and driver's sides.

Anyone who may have seen the man or who has any information is asked to contact Howard County police at 313-2226 or 313-2220.

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