A 5-year-old girl abducted from a West Philadelphia elementary Monday was found early this morning barely dressed and crying in an Upper Darby playground, say police. Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said that Nailla Robinson, taken by an unidentified woman in a black burqa from the Bryant Elementary School just across the border in Philadelphia, was found about 4:40 a.m. today.
Chitwood said a man walking toward 69th Street Terminal for work in Norristown heard a cry from a nearby ballfield and adjoining playground at 69th St. and Patterson Ave. - a short distance from where Nailla abducted. "As he starts to walk to where the screams are, a little girls runs out," Chitwood said. "She said, 'I ran away, I ran away from the people who took me.' The girl was near a jungle gym playset and wearing only a black tank-top. Chitwood said he did not know how long Nailla had been outside. It was about 37 degrees and damp from heavy rain overnight at the time Nailla was found.
The man, whom police are calling a Good Samaritan, called the girl over. She told him she was cold and had to go to the bathroom. Police sources said that after Nailla was abducted from the school, the woman took her to a residence where a man was also present. Nailla's clothes were removed. She was blindfolded and hidden under a bed. It's unclear how the girl managed to get free. Earlier accounts suggest she fled. But police sources said it appears her abductors might have dropped her off at the playground. She was then told to call someone for help.
Regardless, after she was rescued, Nailla was taken to Children's Hospital in Philadelphia for evaluation of exposure to the cold. Detectives did not immediately interview the girl, Chitwood said. Rather, their goal was to get her checked out. He said investigators will focus their search for the abductor, or abductors, in the area of the ballfield since it backs up to a residential neighborhood. "If she ran away, she ran away right in that area," Chitwood said. "A child is not going to be able to go that far." He added: "It had to be an animal to do something like this, to abduct a child and leave her in the park with just a t-shirt."