Thursday, July 25, 2013

Missing 13-year-old Rhode Island girl presumed kidnapped from her Portsmouth ... - The Providence Journal

Jhon Smith | 9:51 AM |

PORTSMOUTH — An Amber Alert was spread by media outlets, as well as by electronic billboards, highway message signs and traffic radio broadcasts, for a Portsmouth teenager who was reported missing and not heard from since 9:35 a.m. Wednesday.


Kathryn Botelho, 13, of 59 Ferry Landing Circle, was described as 4 feet, 11 inches tall and weighing 110 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes. She wore an Alex and Ani bracelet. Her clothing was not described.


Interim Police Chief Jeffrey Furtado said at a 4 p.m. news conference at Portsmouth Town Hall that the girl’s mother left the house at 9 a.m. and returned a short time later to discover her daughter was missing.


The girl did not have a cellphone. She may have taken an iPod, Furtado said.


The police said Kathryn was last seen leaving her house with an unknown man who was 40 to 50 years old and described as a white male of thin build, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, and unshaven.


The police searched the neighborhood. Once they determined that the suspect was unknown to the family, Portsmouth police alerted surrounding police departments and called the Rhode Island State Police, which sent troopers and K-9 units.


State police issued the Amber Alert around 2 p.m. The situation had not changed by 10 p.m. Wednesday, police said.


“These types of cases can be anything but routine when it’s a person of this age” who is missing this long, Furtado said at the news conference.


Ewerton Afonso, 26, of Fall River, who was working with a landscaping crew in the condominium development near the Mount Hope Bridge, said he told the police he saw the girl leaving with a man. She was hurrying to keep up, like they were late for something, he said. They got into a red Chrysler.


“I just wish I could have seen more,” he said, before stepping back onto his standing mower.


The car was described as an older-model Chrysler, possibly a Concord or Sebring, and with faded paint. It may have had New Jersey plates, the police said.


Out of consideration for the girl’s mother, Portsmouth police asked members of the media to stay out of view of the house. The smell of fresh-mown grass filled the air. Neighbors occasionally came out of their houses to see what was going on.


Because the girl had been seen getting into a car, search dogs were not deployed. They waited in air-conditioned cruisers.


Just after 2 p.m., detectives left the house with a desktop computer and a laptop.


Sometime after 3 p.m., police officers began going through the household trash that they had asked the trash collection company to not pick up.


At the 4 p.m. news conference, Furtado said Kathryn was “absolutely” considered to be in danger.


“No community is immune from something like this,” he said.


Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Portsmouth police at (401) 683-0300.


With reports from


Maria Armental


and Thomas J. Morgan



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