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Police Arrest 4 in N.J. Girl’s Abduction

April 25, 2006

RAMAPO, N.Y. (AP) _ A fourth person was arrested Tuesday in the abduction of a 13-year-old girl, who was forced into the trunk of a car that was later found abandoned with the girl alive inside.

Three others _ two men and a woman _ were captured Monday night. All are in their teens or early 20s, according to Sgt. Sal Matos.

It wasn’t clear Thursday morning whether authorities had found any connection between the girl and the four people arrested. Police removed a computer from the house but found no indication the girl had met her abductors online, Detective Lt. Brad Weidel said.

Neighbors said they saw Mara Downes struggling with her masked assailants Monday afternoon outside her home and called 911. Police said she had just gotten off the bus from Sacred Heart School when she was snatched from her front lawn.

The girl was screaming ``Help me!″ neighbor Maggay Eugene said. ``They fight with her on the grass, and then they put her in the trunk.″

Police issued an Amber Alert, and Mara was found in the car trunk later Monday in a wooded area about a mile from her house in the town of Ramapo, in suburban Rockland County just north of New York City. She was ``physically OK,″ Weidel said.

``It’s shocking,″ neighbor Cheryl Louissaint said. ``We’re a nervous wreck. I have three small children. It’s appalling.″

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