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How four siblings stuck together to survive a kidnapping in Detroit

Posted at 6:27 PM, Dec 03, 2021

DETROIT (WXYZ) — We teach our children there is safety in numbers. They can protect themselves from strangers by traveling in groups.

Still, Detroit police say one woman managed to kidnap 4 children all at once.

A Ring doorbell surveillance camera captured images of the woman’s van pulling up to where the children were as they walked to school on Tuesday. Detroit police say she then convinced all four of them to get in her van and took off.

Fortunately, Detroit Police were at Minock and Grand River, when they saw her run a red light. They made a traffic stop in the area of Grand River and Greenfield.

Detroit Police Chief James White says Officers Parrish and Flannel of the 8th Precinct felt something wasn’t right and asked a question they don’t always ask after they pulled her over.

“Are these your children? To which she said yes, and the children at the same time were shaking their head no,” said Chief White.

“I just thank everyone involved that my children are back home safe,” said Shayla Burleigh, the children’s mother.

As for how the woman allegedly kidnapped four children ages five to eleven, their parents say the kidnapper enticed the youngest into her van first. The older children followed to protect the little one. One child had a phone and had called for help. The older children also remained poised as they signaled to police they all needed help.

“She preyed on my youngest one. The oldest one didn’t want to leave his youngest brother,” said Shayla Burleigh. “He did what he had to do.”

“I just want to congratulate the City of Detroit police officers for performing their duties,” said Keith Lindey, the father of one of the children. “I am thankful.”