EVERETT — Felipe Romo has three kids and his sons’ room is on the ground floor of his townhome. After hearing about the 5-year-old girl kidnapped early Saturday morning from a nearby apartment, he’s not taking any chances — Romo put a wooden crossbar and lock on the window so that no one can open it from outside.
“When we knew about this we were very worried because we don’t know if the guy is living around us,” Romo said. “We just moved here a month ago and we thought this was a quiet and safe neighborhood. Now we don’t know.”
Around 3 a.m. Saturday, Everett police said a man used a wooden pallet to climb through a first-floor window of an apartment complex in the 800 block of 112th Street SE. Surveillance video shows him carrying a young girl away on his shoulder.
“This seems completely legitimate that it was a stranger abduction,” officer Aaron Snell said. “Someone came into the house, abducted the girl, and took her with the intention of sexual assault but for some reason that didn’t happen. Fortunately, she was released and we were able to safely recover her.”
Police believe the man took the girl to the nearby Interurban Trail where they found her pajama bottoms. At 4:30 a.m. Saturday, the girl knocked on doors asking for help at another apartment complex about a mile from her home in the 1300 block of Bruskrud Rd.
“Hopefully they find the guy,” Jessica Brown said. “You always have to be careful with your kids, where they’re at and who they’re with. You have to know who they’re with 100 percent of the time.”
It’s a sentiment police are reiterating to area residents.
“This really is a tough situation. I’m a parent and it’s tough. We have to keep an eye on our kids and do have to take standard precautions, especially now,” Snell said.
Police said to make sure windows and doors are locked, that kids aren’t playing alone and to be on the lookout for anyone suspicious.
Detectives interviewed the 5-year-old victim Monday and she provided a few more details about the kidnapper. He is described as a shorter-than-average, dark-skinned man with no facial hair. He was wearing a white painter or baseball hat backwards and had blue and green tennis shoes. He had two earrings in each ear, one diamond and one gold stud.
Police believe when he left the Interurban Trail, he exited in a residential neighborhood in the 10900 block of 10th Street SE. Anyone with information is asked to call 911.