The girl and her abductors, grandmother Melissa Brown, and aunt, Malaysia Linton, were found in Lexington County, SC, where Aaliyah was found safe and unharmed; the two women were taken into custody at that time, according to our sister station WIS in Columbus, SC. Charges are currently pending.
WSFA reports that once Aaliyah left the school bus in Union Springs, AL at her school, her grandmother and aunt called out to her and she went to them, and was pulled into the vehicle. The girl's father, Alton Linton, was waiting for the child out front of her school. Once she was with her other relatives, the father left to meet them. Alton Linton was also taken into police custody.
The father was later interviewed by police, and was the person who identified Aaliyah's abductors to law enforcement.
"We and our partners in Bullock County and across the Southeast gave this case 110 percent until the child was found," said Secretary of Law Enforcement Spencer Collier. "It truly was a team effort involving Alabama State Troopers, the State Bureau of Investigations, Alabama Fusion Center and Union Springs Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service, FBI and Fusion Centers in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina working through our Alabama Fusion Center to ensure young Aaliyah Linton was recovered safely."
"This type of consolidated effort should be celebrated," Collier said. "Aaliyah was recovered safely because of the professional and determined actions of all involved in this investigation."
The motive for the kidnapping is unclear at this time.
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