MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – Florida Law Enforcement officials and Miami Police are crediting a 10-year-old kidnap victim and his 14 year-old friend with helping crack a month old case. Friday, FDLE announced the arrest of a 28 year-old Miami man in the boy’s abduction.
Children now play along Northwest 27th Avenue and 34th Street only steps away from the spot where a 10-year-old boy was snatched from the sidewalk while walking with his 14 year-old friend back on November 4th.
“I’m shaking right now. It’s crazy,” said neighborhood parent Ismar Morales after learning of the arrest.
Morales and her friend, Heydys Zosa, live with their children only steps away from where he was abducted.
“You never know what could have happened to that little kid,” said Zosa. “They could have dumped him somewhere.”
“It could have been my child, her child, anybody’s child. I mean I’m so glad that they caught him,” said Morales.
The him Morales referenced is 28-year-old Arlen Freyre. Police and FDLE agents arrested Freyre on kidnaping charges late Thursday night.
FDLE agents said Freyre confessed to grabbing the 10 year-old stuffing him in his late model Hummer before driving off.
“He (Freyre) did admit to abducting the child,” said FDLE Special Agent Supervisor John Vecchio.
At a news conference to announce the arrest FDLE and Miami police credited both boys with helping crack the case.
“I don’t think he was expecting to deal with somebody so feisty and so full of will,” said Addy Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge for FDLE in Miami.
FDLE agents said that not only was part of the abduction caught on nearby surveillance video; the Hummer’s Sunpass tracked, but both the boys made such a ruckus that they helped save the day.
One of the boys noted an infant car seat in the back. And, agents said, while the 14-year-old sprinted home to call 9-1-1, the 10-year-old in the car kicked and screamed and banged on the car’s gearshift so long that police said Freyre finally got tired of it and forced the boy to leave the car at this intersection in Miami Shores, 19 minutes after being abducted.
“Thank God that the child made it very very difficult for this individual,” said Special Agent in Charge Villanueva. “I think it was his tenacity and his will to get out of that vehicle.”
Freyre had little to say at his first court appearance on 5 counts against him including kidnapping, false imprisonment of a child under the age of 13, interference with custody and two counts of battery.
In court, Freyre, with a long previous criminal record, was ordered held in jail under no bond.
“At this time we don’t have any information to lead us to believe that he’s done it before,” said FDLE special agent Vecchio. “We just believe that this has happened before and we’re asking that anybody that may have any information in this particular case or any other case to come forward.”
FDLE agents also said the victim was not randomly selected. They said that Freyre may have known some of the boy’s family or known the boy frequently walked that route from his home.
According to FDLE, currently 238 children remain missing in Florida. That number does not include children who’ve run away from home.
FDLE officials count it a victory that this 10 year-old is NOT counted among them.