HERO: School bus driver rescues kidnapped 9-year-old during carjacking

National News

SULTAN, Wash. (KOMO/CNN) — A 9-year-old girl was rescued by her school bus driver after being kidnapped in Washington during a carjacking, KOMO reports.

On Tuesday, bus driver Elsa Fox dropped off a fourth-grader at a bus stop.

Fox continued on her route like normal until all of a sudden, a car whizzed by her, and a young girl was on the side of the road.

Authorities say the driver, who knew the young girl, forced her out of the car while it was still moving.

“So she waved me with her hands…she said, ‘Take me home. Take me home. They were trying to kidnap me,'” Fox said.

The sheriff’s office said the 9-year-old was kidnapped as part of a carjacking near the bus stop Fox had just been at.

She recognized the fourth grader as one of her riders and took her home.

“It’s just a blessing that we were there to help her. You know, I’m a parent, and I think that’s the worst nightmare, that somebody takes your child,” Fox said.

Police said the driver kept going down and tried to steal another car before a homeowner chased him off with a pocket knife.

He was arrested in a field and told deputies he had just used heroin, meth and marijuana.

On Wednesday, the driver identified as 31-year-old Jessy Rylah.

Fox said she calmed the girl down before dropping her off at her Sultan home.

“She needed help. That’s what we do. We take care of our community and our kids,” Fox said.

According to the sheriff’s office, Rylah and the 9-year-old were not strangers.

A spokesperson said they knew each other but it’s not clear how.

Rylah faces several charges including first-degree kidnapping, robbery and theft of a motor vehicle.

He is being held on a $250,000 bail.

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