Woman, 19, charged in kidnap of girl from school

A police car outside houses in the 6200 block of Walton Avenue. Four people from one house were taken into custody.
A police car outside houses in the 6200 block of Walton Avenue. Four people from one house were taken into custody. (MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer)
Posted: February 16, 2013

A 19-year-old woman was charged Thursday night in connection with the abduction of a kindergartner from her West Philadelphia elementary school last month, authorities said.

Christina Regusters was charged with kidnapping, conspiracy, aggravated assault, rape, and related offenses, said Capt. John Darby of the police Special Victims Unit.

She was one of four people taken into custody Thursday afternoon. The other three were still being questioned late Thursday, police said.

Earlier, in front of a house in the 6200 block of Walton Avenue, Capt. David Bellamy said officers were securing the residence in anticipation of a search warrant "in connection with the abduction of a child."

Sources told The Inquirer last week that detectives had brought in three women from the house for questioning, taking carpet samples for possible DNA matches, as well as a parrot.

The girl was kidnapped Jan. 14 by a woman in Muslim garb who posed as her mother and signed her out of school. She was found early the next morning, alone, in an Upper Darby playground.

The 5-year-old girl had told police there was a talking bird in the house where she had been brought blindfolded. The girl recognized the back end of the house, sources said, which she saw when she was taken out of the house, in the middle of the night, without a blindfold.

Police believe a teenage girl helped her escape, dropping her off at the park, where a passerby found her the morning after she was taken.

About noon Thursday, four people were taken from the house, at least one a male, Bellamy said.

6ABC was reporting Thursday afternoon that the people were believed to be the woman suspected of taking the girl from school and the man who assaulted the girl. The girl who helped the 5-year-old out of the house was also in the group, the station reported.

Ken Davis, 31, who lives a few doors from the house, said at least four women lived there, with children. He said men were rarely seen.

Davis said police had been in front of the house for the last week.


Contact Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman at sabdur-rahman@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @sabdurr.

Inquirer staff writers Robert Moran and Mike Newall contributed to this article.

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