Father says teaching daughter survivor skills helped keep her alive during Livingston kidnapping | #childabductors

SPRINGFIELD – Two Livingston Parish teenagers reportedly relied on their survival skills to thwart a kidnapping attempt when a man grabbed them and forced them into his vehicle on Friday.

Phillip Pigott, the father of 14-year-old Mia Pigott told WBRZ Mia and one of her 15-year-old friends typically enjoy a quiet walk to a local Dollar General in their small town of Springfield. But on Friday, Pigott said a frightening encounter with a stranger on their way back from the store completely upended the girl’s afternoon.

As Mia and her companion headed home from the Dollar General a man in an SUV, Pigott said, approached them and forced them into his vehicle.

What the stranger didn’t realize was that Mia’s father, a veteran of the armed services, had long ago prepared his daughter for such a situation. 

“I told her if that ever happens, fight, fight, fight,” Pigott told WBRZ. 

He also warned Mia that if someone attempted to kidnap her, she should never let them make it to the interstate as it would then become more difficult to escape. 

With her father’s advice in mind, Mia fought the man off while she was in the front passenger seat of his vehicle, repeatedly attempting to grab the steering wheel from him.

This, according to Pigott, caused the vehicle to crash, totaling it. 

Pigott says at this point, his daughter and her friend saw their moment to escape and took it. 

After fleeing the damaged SUV and grabbing at least one of their phones to take with them, the girls tracked down a few nearby Good Samaritans and asked for help. The locals, Pigott said, restrained the would-be kidnapper until authorities arrived.

After the harrowing ordeal, Pigott says his daughter collapsed due to a concussion but is now on the mend; her friend is also safe and sound. 

Pigott praised the girls for their quick thinking and tenacity during the frightening experience. 

The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office revealed Saturday, Albert Lavigne, 39, was arrested for the attack.  Click HERE to read more about the investigation. 

Current statistics reveal that hundreds of thousands of juveniles are reported missing to the Federal Bureau of Investigation each year, but abductions are relatively rare. 

According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), abductions by strangers are the rarest type of cases of missing children and that strangers are most likely to attempt to abduct a child as they head to or from school, the center said. 

A February 2020 Reuters article, likewise, said statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation indicate that on average, fewer than 350 people under the age of 21 have been abducted by strangers in the United States per year since 2010.

 


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