Man who finds kidnap victim testifies in case

Posted: August 29, 2014

THE SANITATION worker was headed to 69th Street Station in Upper Darby to get to his Norristown job early that January 2013 morning, which he described as "very dark" and "very quiet."

The stillness in Upper Darby was interrupted as he walked past the 69th Street Athletic Field, where he heard a child's screams: "Help me! Help me! Help me!"

Nelson Mandela Myers testified yesterday during the trial of Christina Regusters in Common Pleas Court that he heard the SOS come from under a slide in the field's playground and walked over to the area. There, Myers saw a girl who was barefoot, dirty and shivering from the cold, wearing only a black adult-size T-shirt that was damp to the touch.

Little did he know that an Amber Alert had been broadcast in search of the girl, who was kidnapped the day before from her kindergarten class at Bryant Elementary in West Philadelphia by a woman wearing Muslim clothing.

Authorities believe that Regusters, 21, was the woman underneath the garb who took the girl to a Cobbs Creek house and physically abused her. Regusters is charged with aggravated assault, kidnapping and other crimes.

The trial began Monday with opening arguments and a slew of witnesses called by the prosecution. On Wednesday, the girl testified about what she could remember to a packed courtroom.

Myers recalled he covered the girl, whose name is being withheld by the Daily News because she is a victim of a sexual assault, with his coat and hoodie.

"She said she was cold and she had to go to the bathroom," he testified. Later, "she said somebody stole her," he said.

The girl told him "she had run from somewhere," he said. "Someone was chasing her." When he heard that, Myers called 9-1-1.

Prosecutor Erin O'Brien played the 9-1-1 recording in court, a back and forth involving a dispatcher, Myers and the girl.

Myers says in the recording that he's found a "little girl with nothing on but her shirt."

The dispatcher asks Myers her age and he asks the girl, "How old are you?" She answers "5." The dispatcher asks Myers if she's hurt and Myers asks the child, "Are you hurt?" The voice says, "Yes."

The two adults ask where she's hurt and the girl says something and then, "I'm scared that I'm never going to find my way home!"

The girl's father testified yesterday as well as the paramedic who attended to the girl and various law-enforcement officials.

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