STANFORD, Ky. (LEX 18) — Stanford police arrested a North Carolina man on kidnapping charges Tuesday after he allegedly brought a 17-year-old girl against her will across state lines into Lincoln County.
Police were tipped off just before 10 p.m. Tuesday by a caller who said they saw a young woman running from a semi parked in Lincoln Plaza. The caller said a man, later identified as 29-year-old Noe Juarez, got out of the truck, assaulted the victim, and forcefully brought her back inside the semi.
The person who made the initial call won't answer their phone, and that's okay, but Stanford's police chief sure would like to thank him.
"If it wasn't for him seeing this and calling it in, there's no telling what could’ve happened," said Chief Zach Middleton.
Middleton's department was able to put an end to an alleged kidnapping situation on Tuesday night when a citizen called 911 after seeing a girl running from a truck parked behind a pizza restaurant off KY 150 in Lincoln County.
"During the investigation, we were able to determine she was there against her will and trying to get help," said Middleton.
Officers reported hearing "frantic screaming" from the sleeper area of the truck when they arrived on-scene shortly after the caller tip.
Police said the victim ran from the cab after police entered and was taken to the hospital by officers for treatment.
Police arrested Noe Juarez of Liberty, North Carolina, charging him with assault, strangulation, kidnapping, 3rd-degree rape, and resisting arrest. He was scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday.
And while the girl has since been returned to her home in North Carolina, the story doesn't end there.
"She had lost an item that was very sentimental, and she stressed she would love to have that item," Middleton said.
That's where the city's mayor and a chaplain in town came to the rescue.
"I was talking with Chaplain Jeremy Johnson, he dealt with the situation the night before and had made a personal connection with this person and promised her he would go look, and I said, 'Chaplain, I'll go with you.' And we went and we found it," Mayor Dalton Miller explained.
Devine intervention, if you will.
"She's very excited to be getting it back," Mr. Miller continued before adding that it’s about to be sent to her home.
It's a terrific ending to a story that had a potential tragedy written all over it.
"You've heard it probably 100 times; if you see something, say something. That definitely applies here. We wouldn't have known about it and wouldn’t have been able to respond to it in time," Middleton said.