ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – ***8:14 p.m Aug. 14, 2020 UPDATE***
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said an Amber Alert for a missing girl has been canceled after the suspect in the case was arrested.
Investigators with the Sheriff’s Office said they were made aware she was spotted on video not injured and seemingly safe shortly before the suspect in the case was arrested in south Orange County.
Deputies said they still don’t know the identity of the girl and they would still like to talk to her to see if she was victimized in any way.
Investigators said she is not in any trouble would just like to confirm who she is and to confirm she is safe.
A man and a stolen vehicle at the center of an Amber alert have been located but an unidentified teenage girl is missing and deputies are concerned for her safety, according to Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said a man, since identified as 44-year-old Alexander Lopez, was caught on camera abducting a 16- or 17-year-old girl around 7 a.m. at a gas station in the 3200 block of South Goldenrod Road in Orlando. An Amber alert was issued hours later.
[READ: Here’s what we know about the suspect in an Orange County Amber alert]
Video tweeted by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office shows the man at the counter of the convenience store near a girl wearing a baggy red T-shirt and dark-colored pants. The video shows Lopez yelling at the girl inside the convenience store.
Watch the surveillance video below
Corp. Nikki Harper said the clerk at the gas station thought the interaction between Lopez and the girl was alarming enough to call 911.
“So the information that we got from that clerk is that she made some very concerning statements inside that convenience store that alerted him that something wasn’t right and especially that alerted to him that she was a minor,” Harper said.
From there, the video jumps to outside the store, where the girl is seen getting into a silver Toyota RAV4.
Lopez approaches the passenger’s side while the girl is sitting there, and he appears to reach in the vehicle and shut the door, video shows. Deputies said Lopez forced the girl into the vehicle.
“There appears to be a scuffle, some resistance on her part,” Harper said.
Harper said that after the Amber alert was issued, a concerned citizen recognized the gray 2004 Toyota RAV4 with Florida tag 504RXA in Osceola County, got behind the vehicle and called 911 around 2 p.m.
About an hour later, authorities spotted the vehicle, which had been stolen out of another jurisdiction, in Orange County and pursued it when Lopez refused to pull over, according to Harper.
Lopez lost control during the pursuit and crashed into a retention pond off Rocket Boulevard, records show. The vehicle has since been removed from the water.
Deputies said Lopez ran away from the crash scene but has since been taken into custody.
Harper said Lopez has a “long violent history” and is refusing to cooperate with the investigation or provide information about the girl he was seen with in the video.
Right now, Harper said their focus is on identifying and locating the teen to make sure she’s not in danger.
“We want to make sure that she’s OK. The fact is we know nothing about her. We don’t know where she is and we know that she was with this person, is very concerning and we want to make sure she’s OK,” Harper said.
The girl was described as white or Hispanic, about 5 feet, 6 inches tell and 135 pounds, with long brown hair.
Anyone who recognizes the girl or has information about why she was with Lopez is asked to call 866-858-7233 or 911 immediately.
“We are appealing to the public right now for any information. It doesn’t matter how insignificant you feel it might be, please let us know. Let us make that determination,” Harper said.
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