An AMBER Alert has been activated in Southampton Township, PA for abducted Julia Rakoczy. The following information from the NCMEC’s AMBER Alert concerning the events appears to differ from news reports of the abduction.
The child was abducted at approximately 2:00 pm May 26th, 2009, along State Route 132, Street Road, Upper Southampton Township, Bucks County, about 1 mile north of Philadelphia City. Two Black males, no further description, jumped in her mother’s vehicle and drove away. Her mother, Bonnie Sweeten, was in the vehicle also. Anyone with information about the abduction should immediately contact the police by calling 911.
Color: Silver Interior
License State: PA
License Text: GYK8998
The woman who made a 9-1-1 call yesterday was stricken with fear.
In a terrified voice, police said, 38-year-old Bonnie Ann Sweeten told how she had been grabbed by two men after a minor accident in lower Bucks County, shortly before 2 p.m., shoved into the back of a Cadillac and driven away.
She said that her 9-year-old daughter, Julia Rakoczy, had been with her but remained in her vehicle, a GMC SUV. It was not at the scene when cops arrived.
Police have found the SUV of a woman who called 911 saying she was in the trunk of a car and that she and her 9-year-old daughter had been abducted following an accident yesterday in Bucks County.
They also have found a black Cadillac that could be the car from which Bonnie Sweeten made her desperate phone call.
But Sweeten and her daughter Julia Rakoczy remain missing.
Update: The Associated Press has corrected the story to include the mother and daughter. The NCMEC now lists the suspect vehicle as a black Cadillac.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police are searching for a woman and her young daughter, who were allegedly abducted in broad daylight by men who rear-ended their car near Philadelphia.
Police and the FBI say Bonnie Sweeten, of Feasterville, made a cell phone call Tuesday from a car trunk. She told a 911 dispatcher she and 9-year-old Julia Rakoczy (ruh-KOH’-zee) were abducted after the car struck her SUV.
State of Pennsylvania AMBER Alert site with photos of Julia RAKOCZY and Bonnie SWEETEN
The Pennsylvania State Police has re-issued an Amber Child Abduction Alert for the Upper Southampton Township Police, Bucks County.Upper Southampton Township Police are searching for Julia RAKOCZY, a white, non-hispanic female, 8 years old, 4’1” tall, 59 pounds, long brown hair, blue eyes, dime-sized birthmark on her forehead, unknown clothing. She was abducted at approximately 2:00 pm May 26th, 2009 along State Route 132, Street Road, Upper Southampton Township, Bucks County, about 1 mile north of Philadelphia City. Two black males, no further description, forced her and her mother, Bonnie SWEETEN, a white, non-hispanic female, 38 years old, 5’11” tall, 130 pounds, blonde hair, blue eyes, into the trunk of a 1990’s black color Cadillac sedan. SWEETEN’s vehicle, a GMC Denali SUV, was found in the 1500 block of Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, at approximately 1:30 am on May 27th, 2009, but mother and child are still missing.Anyone with information about the abduction should immediately contact the police by calling 911.
Update 05-28-09: Abduction hoax ends at Disney World; girl safe
The frantic search for Bonnie Sweeten and her 9-year-old daughter – which began after she called 911 Tuesday to report that they had been kidnapped in Bucks County – ended yesterday at Walt Disney World.
Sweeten, 38, and daughter Julia Rakoczy were taken into custody at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa about 8:40 p.m., the FBI said. Sweeten was being held by authorities in Orange County, Fla., and her daughter was safe.
Sweeten will be extradited to Bucks County, where she faces charges of making a false report and identity theft, both misdemeanors. The investigation is continuing into possible theft charges, said Bucks County District Attorney Michelle Henry.
In August of 2007, the NCMEC and TSA announced a program to alert airport screeners if a child was the subject of an Amber Alert. It was trumpeted to be a major advancement in the search for missing children. (see related post: Leaving on a jet plane)
Did Bonnie Sweeten steal from The Carlitz Foundation, whose goal is raising money for autism research and for people in Burma, as this Philadelphia Daily News article suggests? Did any of the alleged funds from the charity established by Debbie Carlitz, finance Bonnie’s trip to Orlando?
Until last year, Sweeten had worked for the Feasterville law office of Debbie Carlitz.
Carlitz, whose law license was suspended last year, also operated a New Hope-based charity called The Carlitz Foundation. The charity’s stated goal is raising money for autism research and for people in Burma.
Sweeten was listed as a director and fundraiser for the charity. In an interview last night with the Philadelphia Daily News, Carlitz labled her longtime – and now former – employee a thief.
“She worked with me for 15 years and stole money from my law practice,” Carlitz told the newspaper. “She used a (bank) account from the foundation to launder money from the law practice.”
Update 08-28-09: Mom In Disney World Kidnap Hoax Gets Nine to 23 Months