Suspect in abduction of a 9-year-old girl held without bail

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A 9-year-old Rhode Island girl was snatched by an apparent stranger just “milliseconds” after she got off her school bus and started walking home, police said Wednesday.

Luis Martinez-Romero, 34, of Cranston, was held without bail at his arraignment on charges of kidnapping of a minor and second-degree sexual assault. He did not enter pleas and he was referred to the public defender’s office.

The girl was abducted at about 3 p.m. Monday in Providence.

The suspect drove her to a remote location where he parked for a short time, then drove her around the city, through a fast food drive-thru and into Cranston before bringing her back to the area from which she was taken in less than an hour, police Chief Col. Hugh Clements said.

“It happened within seconds, milliseconds, where she innocently stepped off a bus, was walking home and was scooped up,” he said.

Police on Tuesday released surveillance video that shows a person running up from behind the girl and grabbing her, then carrying her to an SUV.

Most children are abducted by someone they know, making the girl’s kidnapping unusual, police said.

Martinez-Romero has no known criminal record in Rhode Island, police said.