Police in Massachusetts say a 7-year-old girl was kidnapped from her grandparents' home and thrown from a bridge into a lake but survived.
Police say the girl was taken at around 2:30 a.m. Sunday from the Worcester home by 35-year-old family friend Joshua Hubert. He allegedly kidnapped the girl from a family cookout at which he was a guest.
Investigators said the girl was put in a car, choked and then thrown into Lake Quinsigamond.
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The girl swam to shore in the town of Shrewsbury and was discovered at about 4 a.m.
Maeve Geary woke up to find the soaking wet little girl at her home along the lake.
"She was incredibly brave. I have such admiration for her," said Geary.
Police say she suffered "visible injuries" that were not life-threatening.
"Fortunately, a greater tragedy was averted," Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said. "The young victim had the strength to make it to shore and get help."
Family friend Anne Ford was shocked to hear of the news.
"It's atrocious, and I feel sorry for everyone involved, especially the little girl," said Ford. "She is never, ever going to forget these memories. Life is going to be so hard for her from now on, until she can straighten things out in the years to come."
Ford said the girl's grandparents are very loving people.
"I just can't imagine how guilty they feel right now, that this happened in their house," she said. "They love their children, they love their grandchildren."
Hubert is charged with kidnapping. A not-guilty plea was entered at his arraignment on Monday.
He was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing set for Thursday.
Prosecutors say Hubert could face additional charges.
"She had marks on her neck that are consistent with strangulation," said the prosecutor.
Hubert's lawyer says he maintains his innocence.