Meridian Star

May 2, 2013

Kidnapped girl found

By Brian Livingston / blivingston@themeridianstar.com
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     A 6-year-old East Kemper County Elementary School student who was abducted from school Tuesday was found on a Lauderdale County road early Wednesday afternoon.

    Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department Chief Dep. Ward Calhoun said Jashayla Hopson walked up to a residence on Burrage Road around 1:40 p.m. The occupant of the home called 911 and deputies and emergency medical personnel were dispatched to the scene.

    Officials said she was taken to a Meridian hospital to be examined but that other than being wet and chilled from the rain, the girl appeared to be in good shape.

    Kemper County Sheriff James Moore told WTOK in an on air interview that a woman has been taken into custody in connection with the kidnapping. Moore said the investigation is ongoing but no charges had been filed as of late Wednesday.

    Lauderdale County officials said agents with the FBI and the Mississippi Mississippi Highway Patrol's Bureau of Investigation are still assisting in the case.

    A search was launched Tuesday afternoon and continued Wednesday morning after the young girl was taken from the library of the elementary school. The woman who took the student from the school was said to be between 25 to 30 years old and possibly driving a brown four-door, mid-sized sedan.

    The Mississippi Highway Patrol issued an Amber Alert for Hopson Tuesday afternoon. Scooba Mayor Allen Beaty was relieved Wednesday afternoon when he heard the news Hopson had been found alive.

    "It is a big relief for this community that is small and where everyone pretty much knows everyone," Beaty said. "I hope we can learn from this so it doesn't happen again but now the focus can be put on who did this in the first place."