GREENSBORO — The search for a woman accused of abducting a 3-year-old girl ended Saturday with her arrest, leaving the toddler's family relieved and grateful.
N'denezsia Monique Lancaster, 22, of Greensboro is facing charges of first-degree kidnapping in Wednesday's abduction of Ahlora Lindiment and an unrelated assault charge, police said. She is being held on $1 million bail on the kidnapping charge, jail records show.
"We're glad that she got arrested," Shaye Wallace, Ahlora's stepmother, said Saturday afternoon. "We're glad we don't have to worry about that anymore."
That had been their concern since they got Ahlora back, Wallace said: Where is Lancaster?
Lancaster is accused of abducting Ahlora Wednesday evening from a merry-go-round at Claremont Courts Apartments off Phillips Avenue.
Officers have not yet released a motive in the abduction.
"Police are questioning her and getting as much information as they can right now," Ron Glenn, spokesman for the police department, said Saturday afternoon.
Glenn said Lancaster was brought to a police station Saturday morning by "an associate."
He said "there was no resistance," during her arrest or during questioning.
Wallace said the family plans to be at Lancaster's first court appearance on Monday. Such hearings typically deal with whether an attorney needs to be appointed and whether bail amounts should be changed.
The family has said they don't know Lancaster.
Stranger abductions are rare and made up less than 1% of kidnapping cases in 2018, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Ahlora was playing with three of her siblings, ages 9, 7 and 5, Wednesday afternoon at the playground.
When the children walked over to a merry-go-round, out of the sight of their family's apartment, a woman reportedly walked up to the children and grabbed Ahlora, her family said.
Federal, state and local law enforcement spent all night Wednesday and Thursday searching the area until receiving a report that Ahlora was at Words of Faith Christian Center on Dillard Street, about six miles away.
Moses Cone Hospital doctors examined Ahlora and found no injuries, Wallace said.
While TV crews filmed Ahlora's reunion with friends Friday afternoon, Wallace used the opportunity to address the woman accused of kidnapping her stepdaughter.
"Thank you for not harming her," Wallace said. "I appreciate it."
Meanwhile, police continued scouring the community for the woman who took Ahlora.
Hours after the kidnapping, police released still images from surveillance video showing a woman, whom they later identified as Lancaster, at the playground and at a nearby Dollar General earlier that day.
Police said a man recognized Lancaster from an apartment on Utah Place and called the tip line. Meanwhile, investigators recognized Lancaster from their own database of cases, Glenn said.
Lancaster was under investigation in Greensboro in an assault case not connected to the kidnapping, Glenn said.
Glenn, who was attending numerous fundraisers for the police department Saturday, said he didn't have information about that assault immediately available.
And while the family waits for Monday's hearing, they're also dealing with the kidnapping's effect on Ahlora, who woke up in the middle of the night Friday crying, Wallace said. She said her stepdaughter won't let her out of her sight.
"She still doesn't seem traumatized," Wallace said. "She seems more like she needs reassurance I'm not going to leave her."
GREENSBORO — A woman accused of abducting a 3-year-old girl from a playground is in custody Saturday after being turned in, police said, by "an associate."
N'deneszia Lancaster, 22, of Greensboro is facing charges of first-degree kidnapping in the abduction of Ahlora Lindiment and an unrelated assault charge, police said.
Lancaster is accused of taking Ahlora away from her older siblings while she played on a merry-go-round at Claremont Courts Apartments off Phillips Avenue. Ahlora was found Thursday night in front of a local church.
Police have not yet released a motive in the abduction.
"Police are questioning her and getting as much information as they can right now," said Ron Glenn, spokesman for the police department.
Glenn said Lancaster was brought to one of the police stations Saturday morning by someone she knows.
"There was no resistance," Glenn said.
When asked if Lancaster was cooperating with questioning Glenn answered again, "there was no resistance," but wouldn't expand.
Officers learned of Ahlora's abduction after her three siblings, ages 9, 7 and 5, ran into their Claremont Courts apartment and told their uncle that a woman had left with Ahlora.
The woman told Ahlora's oldest sister that she would bring Ahlora back, said Shaye Wallace, Ahlora's stepmother.
More than 100 federal, state and local officers began searching for the toddler and her abductor.
On Wednesday evening authorities released surveillance photos taken from a video captured at the apartments and a nearby Dollar General. A Greensboro resident saw the photograph and identified Lancaster as a woman living at an apartment off Utah Place, the family said. Police also matched the photo to Lancaster, who they said was already in their database of previous cases.
Glenn said police are investigating accusations that Lancaster assaulted someone before the kidnapping. Glenn, who is attending numerous fundraisers for the police department Saturday, said he didn't have the information about that assault immediately available.
Police said a pastor at Words of Faith Christian Center at 917 Dillard St. found Ahlora and called police, who confirmed it was the missing girl.
She was taken to Moses Cone Hospital where family members said doctors found no injuries on her.
On Friday afternoon she was reunited with friends at the playground where she was taken.
GREENSBORO — A woman accused of abducting a 3-year-old girl from an apartment's playground on Wednesday is in custody, police said on Saturday.
Police charged 22-year-old N'denezsia Lancaster of Greensboro with first-degree kidnapping of Ahlora Lindiment and an unrelated assault charge.
Police said she is still being processed but will be held in the Guilford County jail.
Officers learned about Lindiment's kidnapping Wednesday evening after her three older siblings ran inside their apartment and told their uncle a woman had led Ahlora away from the merry-go-round where they were playing at Claremont Courts Apartments on Phillips Avenue.
Federal, state and local police scoured the area searching for Ahlora and her alleged kidnapper.
Ahlora was located Thursday evening by a church pastor when she spotted the toddler walking near Words of Faith Christian Center on Dillard Street, six miles from the apartment where she was kidnapped.
This is a developing story. Check back for more information.
Contact Danielle Battaglia at 336-373-4476 and follow @dbattagliaNR on Twitter.
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