NBC10 Philadelphia - Rosemary Connors
Nelson Mandela Myers says that he was on his way to work when he found the missing 5-year-old in a playground on 69th Street. NBC10's Rosemary Connors reports on the man police were calling a hero.
The man who found an abducted 5-year-old girl taken from her Cobbs Creek school spoke out for the first time during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
"I just wanted to do the same thing that someone would do for my child," Nelson Mandela Myers said.
Myers, 27, said he has a 5-year-old daughter of his own and that the girl reminded him of her.
The missing 5-year-old girl who was snatched from a Cobbs Creek school Monday was found in Delaware County overnight. Myers said he was passing by a playground on 69th Street when he found the girl, wet from the rain and only wearing a T-shirt. He took the girl in and notified police.
During his press conference, Myers, who is a sanitation worker, says he heard screams for help on 69th Street as he walked to work in the rain just before 5 a.m. He found the girl hiding underneath the sliding board on the playground, barefoot, cold and shivering. He also said that she had a scar under her lip. Myers also said the girl told him she was running and that someone was "chasing her."
Myers wrapped his jacket around her to keep her warm and called 911. He was joined by his wife, two children and other family members during the press conference.
Despite Myers saying that the girl claimed someone was chasing her, police believe she was dropped off at the playground by her abductor. They continued to search for the abductor and anyone else who may have been involved. The abductor is described as a black female in her 20s, between 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-8 and appeared to be pregnant. She was also wearing Muslim garb.
The Fraternal Order of Police are offering a $5,000 reward for Tuesday only for the arrest of a suspect. Anyone with information on the incident is urged to call police.
As for Myers, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced Tuesday night that the Good Samaritan would receive the full $10,000 reward offered by the city.
“Community policing is about all of us doing the right thing when we see something happening,” Nutter said. “I commend this Good Samaritan, Mr. Myers, for his sharp eye, quick thinking and big heart.”