The FBI released surveillance footage Friday that appears to show a man abducting a little girl in broad daylight from a Chicago suburb.
According to a statement from the agency, Bryan Protho, 38, allegedly snatched the child on December 20 as she walked toward 153rd Street and Burnham Avenue in Calumet City, Illinois, and loaded her into a red Ford Explorer. After driving to an alley, Protho allegedly assaulted the girl before she managed to escape and flag down a passing vehicle.
While in the vehicle, according to an affidavit obtained by the Chicago Tribune, the 38-year-old allegedly struck the victim “numerous times in the face” and covered her mouth when she screamed.
At one point, Protho allegedly demanded the girl to take off her pants. When she refused, the affidavit indicated that he asked her if she wanted to die and threatened to shoot her. He ultimately removed the girl’s pants and touched her, a federal agent wrote.
The girl reportedly provided police with a description of her attacker, which included what he was wearing and that he had a scar on his right cheek. She also identified Protho as her attacker in a lineup, the Tribune reported.
Charged with kidnapping, Protho has remained in federal custody since his arrest on December 27. The East Chicago, Indiana, man faces 20 years to life if convicted. His arraignment is scheduled for February 20.
This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information about Bryan Protho or the red Ford Explorer seen in the video is urged to contact the FBI Chicago Field office at 312-421-6700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Featured Image: FBI video screengrab]