A Michigan woman kidnapped four children on their way to school, police said.
The children who are siblings— an 11-year-old boy, an 8-year-old girl, a 7-year-old girl, and a 5-year-old boy — were quickly rescued from the ordeal.
On Nov. 30 in Detroit, the youngest child got into the van driven by Stephanie Marie Binder, 37, on his way to school, the 11-year-old tried to grab his brother back, according to court documents obtained by ClickOnDetroit.com. Binder then got out and pushed the two kids and their two siblings towards the van.
Detroit police officers pulled over Binder for allegedly running a red light in the area of Grand River Avenue and Evergreen Avenue around 7:30 a.m. Investigators said Binder was driving in a stolen van, “marked like it belonged to a daycare center,” with four children in the backseat who she reportedly kidnapped as they walked to school.
Police said Binder told the officers that these were her children, but the four shook their heads when he asked them if that was true.
“Officers saw children in the car, and questioned the driver. The driver claimed she was taking the children to school. However, the officers noticed the children’s body language, which showed they did not know the driver and needed help,” according to The Detroit Police.
Binder and the children are not related, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. Binder then admitted that she had never met the children before and had no business picking them up and pretending that she was going to take them to school, according to court documents.
Binder was charged with four counts of kidnapping, four counts of unlawful imprisonment, one count of unlawfully driving away of an automobile and one count of receiving and concealing stolen property.
"It's quite frankly terrifying," Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Emily Annal said during the hearing, according to The Detroit News.
"These kids were simply walking to school on Tuesday morning and are essentially lured and taken into the van. If the officers hadn't pulled them over, who knows where these children would be."
The children were unharmed and were reunited with their mother following Binder's arrest.
"I want to thank everyone that my children are back home safe," Shayla Burleigh, their mother, told FOX 2 News. "I cried, I just cried when I saw my daughter, she ran up to me and gave me the biggest hug. "I'm just happy that they were not harmed. I hope (Binder) gets the maximum sentence. I can't say what I really want to say."
Binder was arraigned on Dec. 2 and bail was set at $5 million.
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