WILMINGTON, N.C. — A missing 6-year-old girl has located in “good condition” but chained to a tree the day after an Amber Alert was issued, and a registered sex offender has been arrested in her kidnapping, according to multiple reports.
Stefanny Lenneth Lopez-Castro was located Thursday morning in Wilmington after authorities said she was abducted from her home the night before, local station WECT reports.
Douglas Edwards, a 46-year-old registered sex offender who lives just 4 miles from the child, has been arrested, the Associated Press reports.
The young girl was found chained to a tree in a wooded area some 2 miles from where she was taken, a witness told WECT.
The witness claimed he had been flagged down by authorities who asked if he had bolt cutters. He did not, but offered a battery-operated saw that was used to free the child, the station reports.
The 6-year-old is said to be in “good condition.”
“We beat the odds,” New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon told reporters during a press conference.
The girl’s accused kidnapper is expected to be charged with first-degree kidnapping, according to multiple reports.
The 46-year-old was convicted of first-degree sexual offense against a 6-year-old in 1996, public records obtained by multiple stations show.
As of Thursday afternoon, online jail records did not list Edwards.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office at (910) 798-4200 or the Wilmington Police Department at 910-798-4260.