(TIML NEWS) The apparent abduction of a 16-year-old girl from a Bronx street sparked an Amber Alert and a citywide manhunt late Monday into Tuesday.
But hours later, the girl resurfaced and admitted to cops that the whole thing was staged so that she could be with her boyfriend, a 23-year-old reputed Crips gangbanger once arrested for murder, cops and police sources said.
In a harrowing scene caught on surveillance video, two men hopped out of a beige sedan and accosted Karol Sanchez as she and her mother, Carmen, walked along Eagle Avenue in Melrose at around 11:20 p.m. Monday, cops said.
The mom frantically fought to wrest control of her daughter, but was shoved to the ground as the men forced Sanchez into the car — which held another two men — and sped off down East 156th Street, according to police.
Cops flooded the area, hanging missing-person posters and issuing a statewide Amber Alert — and Tuesday afternoon, sources said, a mysterious phone call was placed to the family in which a man said, “We got the wrong girl.”
A short time later, at around 2:15 p.m., Sanchez reappeared at the very intersection from which she’d vanished and walked over to two cops sitting in a squad car, witnesses said.
“We were looking at the [missing poster] picture saying, ‘I hope she’s OK,’ and she walked right up,” said Akash Singh, 29.
“She was trembling while she was walking. She just looked really scared,” continued Singh, a construction worker on a project in the area. “She put her hands on her and knees and she started talking to the cops. They jumped out of the car and put her in.”
Sanchez was rushed to the 40th Precinct station house, where she admitted to cops that she helped orchestrate her own abduction, the sources said.
Sanchez is not expected to face charges, but late Tuesday cops were still looking to question the four men who were in the car — one of whom is believed to be her gangbanger beau, sources said.
That man’s name is being withheld because he is yet to be charged with a crime in this case, but he already has several prior arrests on his record, including one for murder and another for attempted murder, sources said.
The bogus kidnapping was a twisted plan for the young lovers to be together, police sources said, also noting that Sanchez had been upset over her mother’s plan to uproot the family and go back to her native Honduras.
“Her mother wanted to move them back to Honduras, but she [Karol] was adamantly against it,” one high-ranking NYPD source said.
The Sanchezes live about 90 minutes north of the city in upstate Poughquag, but were visiting relatives in the Bronx at the time.
The teen and her family declined to comment as they left the station house Tuesday evening. Sound off folks