For all the infantilizing and coddling we often do with little girls, it always reassuring to read “girl escapes kidnapper” in any line of press. Like 9-year-old Calysta Cordova from Colorado who after being kidnapped on her walk home from school outsmarted her attacker.
Authorities believe that 29-year Jose Humberto Garcia snatched the little girl as she made her way home. Her father told KMGH news that after his daughter was a mere minutes late, he instinctively knew that something was wrong:
“My baby girl always walks through my door at 3:21 p.m.,” her father, Steven Ryno, told KMGH 7 News.”I noticed something was wrong, when she was nine minutes late.”
An Amber Alert was issued immediately while Jose drove north with his young captive. But when Jose’s truck struck a flat tire, the two hitchhiked to a Circle K convenience store. The little girl went into the store and asked to use the telephone to call her uncle. The smart little girl then quickly dialed 911.
A man inside the convenience store noted that the child had two black eyes, a bruised lip, as well as a bruise on her cheek. Another witness described her as being “in bad shape. The bruise on her face was enormous.” [tagbox tag="child abduction"]
Authorities don’t quite know how Calysta sustained the injuries, but when Jose tried to coax the girl out of the store, she flatly refused:
“She just said, ‘No. I ain’t going nowhere. I’m waiting right here for my momma,’” [the witness] told KMGH 7 News.
Jose took off as police sped towards the location, but he was found not far as a bus stop only a few miles away. He is currently being charged with kidnapping and sexual assault on a child and is suspected in other molestation cases.
The Interim Colorado Springs Police Chief spoke highly of the young girl’s brush with danger and arresting courage, expressing his personal pride for Calysta:
“We have a very, very brave, courageous young lady who did things to save her life, and I’m very, very proud of her,” he said.
And another swell of pride should also rightly go to Calysta’s parents who not only raised a quick and savvy daughter, but also one unafraid to use what resources were at her disposal to get home. She boasts that she “got [her] fight from daddy,” telling viewers that it was her father who demonstrated “how to stand up for myself.”