Girl, 10, Escapes Abductor by Kicking Her Way Out of Car Trunk

It was a homecoming of the best kind Sunday for Chris and Angela Graham.

They celebrated the return of their daughter, Marissa Marie, who was abducted last week but escaped by kicking her way out of the trunk of a kidnapper's car.

Marissa escaped Friday, and her parents drove through bad weather to be reunited with their daughter in New Mexico. They were ecstatic and relieved to see Marissa.

"It's just like a ton of bricks being lifted up off of you," Angela Graham said.

The suspected kidnapper has not been captured. Police describe him as a white male, 34 to 45 years old, and clean shaven. He was last seen wearing a button-up shirt. Authorities say he was last seen driving a purple sport utility vehicle.

Brave Little Girl

Marissa, 10, was riding her bike to a friend's house Thursday when she was grabbed and thrown in the trunk of a car. Police say that she was tied up and that her face was covered.

The girl was driven 200 miles from her hometown of Texhoma, Okla., on the Texas border to Clovis, N.M.

When the kidnapper stopped for gas, Marissa, who takes martial arts classes, kicked her way out of the trunk. She then walked into the store and calmly told the clerk that she had just escaped.

Marissa's instincts were right on, some observers say. Putting up a fight can call attention to an abduction, and that can make the difference between getting away and getting killed.

Police were impressed with Marissa's bravery.

"I have never in my career probably been with a victim of a crime, especially at that age, that is so positive," said New Mexico Police Chief Dan Blair.

Marissa's father was worried, but not surprised, when he heard about his daughter's daring escape.

"She'd kick and scream and bite, fists, everything she's got before she'd give up," Chris Graham said.

Marissa's parents are more than a little grateful for her spunk.

"Going from, you know, just what could've happened and then she wasn't harmed -- I mean that's just unbelievable," her father said.

Comments