Investigation Into 5-Year-Old's Abduction, Sex Assault

Girl's Alleged Abductor May Not Have Acted Alone

Christina Regusters, 19, spoke in a child-like voice during her arraignment

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    NEWSLETTERS

    We are learning new information about the 19-year old woman charged with the kidnapping and rape of a five year old Philadelphia girl. NBC10's Nefertiti Jaquez reports.

    Christina Regusters spoke in a child-like voice, saying that she understood the charges against her during her first court appearance on charges related to the kidnapping and sexual assault of a five-year-old girl.

    Regusters, 19, is being held on $4 million dollars bail.

    More Kidnapping Arrests Expected: Police

    [PHI] More Kidnapping Arrests Expected: Police
    The 5-year-old victim said her kidnapper showed her cell phone video of a white man who she was told would be her new daddy, according to police documents. Police questioned three people who lived in the West Philadelphia home where the victim was allegedly held captive. NBC10's Harry Hairston reports on the investigation.

    Investigators with the Special Victim's Unit say Regusters may not have acted alone. Police say their investigation into the January 14 abduction and rape of the little girl is far from over.

    Regusters was picked up, along with three other people, from a house investigators searched last week. Those three other people were released last night. Police say the investigation into the January 14 abduction and rape of the little girl is far from over.

    Mother of Kidnapped Child Recognizes Suspect: Lawyer

    [PHI] Mother of Kidnapped Child Recognizes Suspect: Lawyer
    The mother of a 5-year-old girl who was kidnapped from her elementary school said she recognized the suspect who is accused of criminal conspiracy, rape and kidnapping. She said Christina Regusters, the 19-year-old suspect, worked at the daycare where the victim attended an after-school program, according to the attorney of the victim's mother. NBC10's Monique Braxton reports.

    The victim was taken from William C. Bryant Elementary School at 60th and Cedar Avenue in Cobbs Creek by a woman dressed in Muslim garb claiming to be her mother. She was found the next morning on an Upper Darby playground by a good Samaritan.

    Since the abduction, police have spent a lot of time with the victim, jogging her memory and retracing her steps on the day she was abducted. During their time together, the victim told investigators that there was a "talking bird" in the home were she was kept during her abduction. That information helped lead police to a house on the 6200 block of Walton Avenue, just blocks away from where the 5-year-old was abducted.

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    [PHI] Neighbors of Suspect "Heartsick" Over Rape, Abduction
    One neighbor can't believe such horrific acts happened just down the street from her house.

    "The girl's incredible. She's been a big help to us. She's gone through a lot of trauma, but she was still able to provide some information that proved to be very helpful to us," Ramsey said.

    Investigators first visited the Walton Ave. home last week, collecting evidence and questioning residents. The questioning continued yesterday when police picked up four people, including Regusters, at the house.

    "Talking Bird," DNA Lead Police to Abduction Suspect

    [PHI] "Talking Bird," DNA Lead Police to Abduction Suspect
    Police say the 5-year-old who was abducted from her school in January told them there was a "talking bird" in the home that she was taken to. That, surveillance video and DNA helped lead police to the arrest of 19-year-old Christina Regusters.

    After hours of interrogation, police arrested Regusters and released the others.

    She's facing multiple charges, including criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, kidnapping, rape, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, contact with a minor, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, interference with the custody of a child, concealing the whereabouts of a child, indecent assault, simple assault, corruption of minors and recklessly endangering another person, according to police.

    Investigators say DNA on the shirt the victim was wearing when she was found the day after her abduction linked Regusters to the crime.

    In addition, police believe that Regusters is the woman seen in Muslim garb on surveillance video escorting the girl from her school.

    "We believe that's a very strong possibility that she is the one that was in that garb," Ramsey confirmed.

    They also say she had contact with the little girl prior to the abduction, although what sort of contact has not been determined.

    "We've still got some work to do, but this is a strong step in the right direction," Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told NBC10.