A kidnapped 7-year-old girl was thrown off a bridge by her assailant, but police said that she was able to swim to shore.
The girl, from Massachusetts, was allegedly abducted by a family friend, Joshua Hubert, 35, who was later taken into custody over the incident, the Boston Globe reported.
Hubert, who works at a private school, is accused of taking the girl without permission from a party in Worchester. She then was “put in a car, strangled, and thrown off a bridge into Lake Quinsigamond,” Worchester police stated.
“She survived the drop and swam to shore, where she was eventually discovered with visible, but not life-threatening injuries,” officials said.
Hubert is now being held without bail. He pleaded not guilty to kidnapping charges.
According to People, the girl was kidnapped at around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday. After she was thrown from a bridge, she turned up at a home nearby at 4:30 a.m.
“Fortunately, a greater tragedy was averted,” Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said in a statement to People.
“The young victim had the strength to make it to shore and get help. I want to thank the resident who answered the door and helped the girl,” Early added. “I also want to acknowledge the Worcester and Shrewsbury police and the State Police Detectives assigned to my office. They did a terrific job working together in investigating this case.”
The child’s pajamas were soaked, while bruises and red marks were seen around her neck, People reported.