MPD: 4 charged in abduction of 4-year-old girl from Memphis gas station

Memphis, Tenn. — UPDATE: 4/30/2021

Four suspects have been charged in the abduction of a four-year-old girl from a Memphis gas station, police say.

The suspects are all juveniles (15, 16 and two 17).

They have been charged with Especially Aggravated Kidnapping, Theft of Property $10,000 -$60,000: Motor Vehicle (2ts), Evading Arrest: to wit Vehicle Pursuit & Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Dangerous Felony.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Tense moments filled the day for the family of 4-year-old Samaria Bassera, who was abducted Thursday.

St. Jude Children’s Hospital confirmed to FOX13 that the girl was in Memphis to receive help at the hospital.

However, because of patient privacy laws, they could not release more details.

It all started at the Shell gas station in the 2900 block of Poplar around 2:15 p.m. According to MPD, a woman left her keys inside her car with the little girl inside when a guy stole it.

FOX13 wasn’t on the scene very long before officers found Samaria.

Video captured by FOX13 showed two family members full of emotion before driving off with officers, just a couple blocks away from being reunited with the 4-year-old.

We followed them to Oakdale Street and Avery Avenue.

MPD told FOX13 they did a grid search that stretched at least three miles when officers patrolling the area searched a car that fit the description and found the girl inside.

With the girl safe and sound with family, FOX13 captured footage of another crime scene in Frayer. That’s where MPD said one of its officers spotted a dark gray Dodge Challenger at Crump and Walnut, a car they said was stolen and possibly connected back to the abduction.

MPD said they followed the four suspects inside the car to St. Charles and Signal, where the suspects got out of the car and took off running.

All four were detained Thursday night and MPD said they’re looking for information as to how they tie into the abduction.

Mical Cortez was at the Shell station later in the day. After hearing what happened he said this should serve as a warning for everyone.

“I think it’s a real important thing to just stay vigilant and stay cautious and be aware of your surroundings,” Cortez said. “Even in a place like this.”

He said criminals don’t care who or what is inside a car when stealing it.

“Even in good areas like this people don’t really think like that,” he said. “This is a good area. I can go in and get what I need and just come back out. Go to my car and take off.”

FOX13 is continuing to follow this still-developing story. Check back for updates.