DC Teen Feared Abducted Found Safe in Prince George's County

A 16-year-old girl whom police believed was abducted on Tuesday morning was found unharmed on Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

Erica Alvarez was picked up by police in Prince George's County around 2:30 p.m. Officials say she appeared to be unharmed physically and was speaking with detectives.

Police were able to track down Alvarez by connecting with her friends and using social media, Prince George's County police spokeswoman Jennifer Donelan said.

Detectives were still speaking with Alvarez Tuesday afternoon, and Donelan said it will probably be "a while" until they know exactly what occurred.

The teen had been reported missing from D.C. about two weeks ago. Police said she was seen being forced into a vehicle against her will in Langley Park, Maryland, shortly before 8 a.m. Tuesday, according to witnesses.

Officers said a caller reported that two males dressed in all-black clothing and ski masks took the teenager in a dark-colored SUV at 7:49 a.m., although a police spokeswoman later said authorities believe only one person grabbed the teen.

"At this point in the investigation, we believe she was targeted and kidnapped," police said on Twitter.

Alvarez had been reported missing from her D.C. home last month. Metropolitan Police said on May 22 that Alvarez had been last seen May 20 in the 4300 block of 13th Street NE, according to a missing persons poster they released on Twitter. A police report said Alvarez was last seen in D.C. about 3:20 p.m. on May 20. She went to attend classes at her D.C. high school but did not return home that evening, the report said.

"There was concern for her welfare. They have been searching for her ever since," Donelan said. "And this morning, at 7:49 [a.m.], we do believe that she was taken against her will" from an apartment community in the 8100 block of 15th Avenue in Langley Park.

Witnesses told police that Alvarez was standing in the vestibule of an apartment building when a dark-colored SUV that had been circling in the neighborhood pulled up. At least one suspect who was dressed in dark clothing and wearing a mask got out and entered the vestibule and "specifically" grabbed the teen, Donelan said.

"There were other witnesses around, but that suspect ignored those other witnesses and grabbed Erica and took her against her will, and that is, again, according to witnesses on the scene," Donelan said.

Less than two hours before the apparent abduction, police were called to the neighborhood because someone was concerned about the teen. "Erica was here and she was apparently distraught," Donelan said.

"When our officers arrived on the scene, Erica was gone," she said.

That was about 6 a.m. "And then, approximately an hour and 49 minutes later, we get the call that a 16-year-old was seen being taken against her will. And that's all we know at this point," Donelan said.

Donelan said the teen knows someone at the apartment complex but could not say whether they were family or friends. Officers were interviewing witnesses and canvassing the area for the girl and the driver of what appeared to be a dark-colored 2005 Ford Explorer.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911. Those wishing to remain anonymous may call Prince George's County Crimesolvers at 866-411-TIPS. Prince George's County Police are working with Metropolitan Police.

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