A kidnapped Texas girl was rescued in Southern California because a bystander saw her “help me” sign.
A 13-year-old girl, whose identity has not been disclosed, was rescued in Long Beach on July 9, when a passerby noticed her holding a sign with “help me” written in red letters, through the window of a parked car.
The bystander, who was also a woman that police refused to identify, let the girl know she saw her and immediately dialed 911 to report the situation.
61-year-old Steven Robert Sablan left the minor girl in his gray Nissan Sentra while doing wash at the Easy Wash Laundromat in Long Beach, California on a Sunday morning.
He was almost 1,400 miles away from San Antonio, Texas, where he had snatched the child from a bus stop three days before.
Sablan reportedly approached the girl, who was reported as a runaway, while she was waiting for public transportation and forced her into the car with a knife.
He allegedly told her that if she didn’t get into the car with him, he’d hurt her, then took off on a horror filled road trip to the Golden State.
Along the way, he promised the pre-teen that he would put her on a cruise ship to see her friend in Australia, but she “had to do something for him first.”
Unfortunately, what he wanted was to sexually assault the girl multiple times while he held her captive.
On the third day, she was brave enough to make and display the sign, after Sablan left her alone to presumably clean their clothes.
Long Beach police arrived swiftly after the woman, who was a regular customer of the laundromat, alerted them to the situation.
Sablan was arrested and the “visibly emotional and distressed” 13-year-old was taken into the custody of the Department of Child and Family services.
The laundromat’s owner confirmed that Sablan creeped her out when she saw him with the young girl, and that the woman who aided in his capture was a regular customer.
He was indicted on a single count of kidnapping and another count of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity by a grand jury.
The FBI is leading the investigation and Sablan will be arraigned at the end of the month.