This story was updated Jan.17.
A six-year-old girl escaped from a would-be kidnapper around 4:50 p.m on Tuesday, Jan. 15. In a dramatic and bizarre scene, a young woman grabbed the girl from behind as the girl was being dropped from her usual afternoon carpool by a neighborhood nanny in front of her Georgetown home.
The attempted kidnapping happened on the 2800 block of Dumbarton Street. As requested by the family, names will not be released.
The women told the girl to stop resisting and said she had cotton candy for her. The girl struggled, got herself free and ran toward her home. The woman ran after her. The nanny in the car called out to the woman as the girl screamed. The nanny continued to yell at the woman, who then ran away, heading east on Dumbarton Street.
The girl made it home, where her mother opened the door as she cried, “Never! Never! I will never go!” The mother called 911 immediately and then ran down the street to look for the woman who tried to kidnap her daughter, but did not find her. Police quickly responded with several cruisers and SUVs and circled the nearby blocks.
In an email, after telling the story of the attempted crime, the girl’s mother asked neighbors to check their home security cameras. She concluded: “This search is ongoing, so any help that you can provide would be most appreciative, especially since it seems there is a predator on the loose. We moved to Georgetown in part because it is such a wonderful neighborhood for small kids. This has been a sobering day, and we are so grateful that [our daughter] is alive and safe, now sleeping at my side.”
The Metropolitan Police Department reported Jan. 17: “The person of interest is in custody. The case remains under investigation.” It later added that 37-year-old Susanne Purdy, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with kidnapping.
The department described the suspect as “a white female who is approximately 30-40 years old, 5’7”- 5’8” in height and has blonde hair which is in a Mohawk hairstyle. She was last seen running eastbound on Dumbarton Street NW, wearing a white coat.”
MPD provided an image of a person of interest, captured by a surveillance camera within Scheele’s Market at 29th and Dumbarton Streets.
From MPD: Anyone who can identify this individual or who has knowledge of this incident should take no action but call police at (202) 727-9099 or text your tip to the Department’s TEXT TIP LINE at 50411. Crime Solvers of Washington, DC currently offers a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for a crime committed in the District of Columbia.