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  1. #1
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    MN - Rachel Marie Zoccoli, 17, Mendota Heights, 23 Feb 2005

    Amber Alert Issued for Minnesota Teen
    Wednesday, February 23, 2005


    The Minnesota Crime Alert Network has issued an Amber Alert (search) for Rachel Marie Zoccoli, 17, who was forcibly removed from her school bus abducted by her former boyfriend, authorities say.

    She's described as white, five-foot-five, 125 pounds, with blue eyes and long straight blonde hair. She was wearing a St. Thomas hooded sweatshirt, blue-gray sweat pants and tennis shoes.

    The suspect is described as an 18-year-old black man, six-foot-two, 190 pounds with brown eyes and hair in the style of an Afro. He was wearing a black sweatshirt, black pants, black shoes, a black stocking cap and a headband with a Nike logo.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,148531,00.html

  2. #2
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    The Amber lights were flashing on the freeways most of the day. The latest report says that she called home and that she says she's okay. I know the guy that kidnapped her - not a lot of sympathy.
    Last edited by Trino; 02-23-2005 at 11:34 PM.

  3. #3
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    Rachael Zoccoli found

    She called home, is okay. Ex-boyfriend has turned himself in to police.

    http://kstp.com/article/stories/S6513.html?cat=1
    Last edited by Trino; 02-23-2005 at 11:30 PM.

  4. #4
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    Rachel Marie Zoccoli

    Amber Alert Canceled for 17 Year Old Minnesota Girl
    Posted: Wednesday February 23 5:47 PM CT
    Updated: Wednesday February 23 7:44 PM CT

    The Mendota Heights Police Department and the Minnesota Crime Alert Network canceled the Amber Alert after the girl was found safe on Wednesday evening. The suspect vehicle was also found but the suspect remains at large.

    Police are looking for Craig George Sutherlin, black male, 6', 200 lbs with an afro haircut. He was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt, black pants, black shoes, a black stocking cap, and a headband with a Nike logo.

    A protection order has been issued but not served.

    Anyone with information is asked to call the Mendota Heights Police Department at 651-452-1366 or dial 911.

    Photo of Sutherlin

    Giving thanks that Rachel was found unharmed, Lanie
    Amber Alert works!!

  5. #5
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    This keeps happening - this is the THIRD Amber alert in about two weeks to report teenage girls who, it turns out, have run off with their boyfriends willingly.

    I guess better safe than sorry. It just seems like this runs the risk of dulling people to the Amber Alert system.

    http://www.twincities.com/mld/twinci...s/10975260.htm

  6. #6
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    The original reports indicated she was taken by force.

    "The Minnesota Crime Alert Network has issued an Amber Alert for Rachel Marie Zoccoli, 17, who was forcibly removed from her school bus abducted by her former boyfriend, authorities say."

    It's possible he told her if she followed through with the restraining order or filed any additional charges on him for kidnapping, he would do harm to her or her family.

    This is known as covert abuse, but I believe the order was issued due to his physical abuse. Threats are abuse. She's much too young to live in fear of this man.

    The article you posted says "The 18-year-old man told K-M-S-P T-V before turning himself into to police tonight that he didn't abduct the girl -- she went willingly."

    and further adds..."But Zocolli's family told the station they believe she was, in fact, taken against her will. They say her three-year relationship with the man was stormy and abusive, and that they took out a restraining order against him yesterday."

    If he did in fact abduct her, I seriously doubt he will admit that to authorities. Three years is a long time to a 17 year old. He has probably molded her and brainwashed her into what he thinks she should be, his property. Very sad. I've counselled many survivors of abuse, and this all sounds very familiar to me.

    No matter what, the child is ok, and that's very important.
    Prayers for all, as it seems they desperately need them.

    Thank you for your comments, Katherine. I do think AA needs some tweaking. I'm not sure how to fix it, but there could be some changes to make it more effective. Very thankful to have any system in place at all, as for so long, we did not. God bless you, and thanks for caring for the missing.

    With love and HOPE for Rachel, Lanie

  7. #7
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    I guess that is the main thing, after all, you're right that she's safe back home.

  8. #8
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    I know the young man who is involved. The word of teachers, students, those who know him is that she voluntarily went with him. One of the guys who knows the girl said, "If you knew her, you wouldn't have any doubt."

    It seems the PARENTS had taken out a restraining order, which had not yet been served. (Did she want to break up with him or if the parents want her to do so?)

    The PARENTS decided she was abducted. They need to have a serious discussion with their daughter.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trino
    I know the young man who is involved. The word of teachers, students, those who know him is that she voluntarily went with him. One of the guys who knows the girl said, "If you knew her, you wouldn't have any doubt."

    It seems the PARENTS had taken out a restraining order, which had not yet been served. (Did she want to break up with him or if the parents want her to do so?)

    The PARENTS decided she was abducted. They need to have a serious discussion with their daughter.

    I would like to hear what the bus driver says... He had to witness it, along with other kids on the bus. I can't imagine they pulled the forcible part from out of their A$$... I would think LE confirmed this before issuing the AA.
    I find this line absolutely pathetic: "If you knew her, you wouldn't have any doubt."
    Thats like using a rape victims sexual history as proof she was not raped..

    I think you might be jumping to conclusions...

    Anyway - the main thing is that she is safe... That's all that matters right now.

  10. #10
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    Well, I think it would be difficult to forcibly remove a girl from a school bus, no weapon, no anything, especially since he was't riding on the bus. I had the young man as a student last trimester. The entire school population backs his story, that she voluntarily went. As far I we now know, he hasn't been charged. What does that tell you?


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trino
    Well, I think it would be difficult to forcibly remove a girl from a school bus, no weapon, no anything, especially since he was't riding on the bus. I had the young man as a student last trimester. The entire school population backs his story, that she voluntarily went. As far I we now know, he hasn't been charged. What does that tell you?

    No, it would not be difficult to remove the girl forcibly - you do not need a weapon to do so. He could have gotten on her bus when it was stopped - he doesn't have to ride the bus to remove her. She may have been afraid of him and he may have grabbed her and she left. If their relationship was indeed a "stormy" one, this would not be surprising. A judge does not issue restraining orders for no reason. There has to be proof of need.

    He may have been a very good student and this could come as a shock to all who know him - the same with many "criminals".. Many of the people who know them are surprised when they commit a crime. Are you saying that the "entire school population" witnessed the allegded event or are they assuming as well? I have a hard time believing that NO ONE in the entire school believes the girl.

    I think it is unfair to blame this girl, when you are being truely on sided.

    I don't know the entire story, as I am sure you don't either.

    The police may not have issued charges for various reasons, one being that they are still investigating or that the girl is unwilling to cooperate with LE, as what happens MANY times in domestic situations - the wife/girlfriend refuses to cooperate out of fear or what they see as "love".

  12. #12
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    I found this in todays Mpls/St Paul p.. This tells the story pretty well!

    Rachel M. Zoccoli of Mendota Heights was found near Delaware and Wyoming Sts. in St. Paul about 7 p.m., said Mendota Heights Police Chief Mike Aschenbrener. Her alleged abductor, Craig G. Sutherlin, 18, of St. Paul, turned himself in to police about an hour later at the encouragement of his mother, Aschenbrener said.

    Sutherlin, who had dated Zoccoli on and off about for two years, boarded the bus on which she was riding about 7:20 a.m. and started fighting with her, according to police. The bus driver and Zoccoli's sister tried to stop Sutherlin before he dragged the girl off with him and into a vehicle.

    He is not a student at Zoccoli's school, Sibley High School, where he has been banned for misbehavior, said police records specialist Catherine Ransom.


    http://www.startribune.com/stories/1405/5257730.html

    It also says he could face charges as ealry as today...and that he is being held in the county jail..

  13. #13
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    The main TV/radio news agencies for the Twin Cities are kstp.com and wcco.com. This is a non-story. The S-T may have published earlier.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trino
    The main TV/radio news agencies for the Twin Cities are kstp.com and wcco.com. This is a non-story. The S-T may have published earlier.

    I am aware of the main stations -I am originally from Mpls.... KARE 11 also... and no, this was published today. When does it matter when it was published - today or yesterday ??? It was reprted that the bus driver still tried to help her, ragardless if it was reported today or yesterday...So, if he tried to help her, that tells me something happend on that bus ... And what do you mean by a non-story ?? The startribune is the major paper in the area.

  15. #15
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    Lisa, don't you think, though, this is a VERY strange story the way it's being handled? If a girl was abducted forcibly in my school district (I think everywhere is like this!) parents would be down at the school demanding to know how that happened, and seeking accountability from the bus driver and the school district. The school district would at least issue a statement of grave concern and a promise to look into it. I don't think this is happening, in fact, the story is fading fast from the media.

    This paragraph is carried in a lot of articles:

    "Authorities initially said Rachel Marie Zoccoli was abducted off her school bus by her former boyfriend.
    But police canceled the alert Wednesday night after she turned up safe. "

    The "authorities initially said" thing looks like they were wrong, to me.

    I don't know - it doesn't seem like it was correct as first reported, but it's hard to tell for sure, and whose fault it was if in fact it wasn't correct.

    I guess we'll see if the boy is charged - as it is, this isn't being handled by the community, it seems to me, the way a normal community would react if she was really abducted.

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