Police ID Man Arrested In Abduction, Sexually Assault Of 4-Year-Old Girl

By Trang Do and Alicia Nieves 

WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) – Police in New Castle, Delaware have identified and announced charges against the man accused of abducting and sexual assaulting a four-year-old girl.

Police have identified the suspect as 23-year-old Daniel M. Santucci Jr. Authorities say he was arrested in Tampa, Florida on April 20 and was transported to Delaware to face charges.

Authorities say a tipster cracked the case open.

Authorities say Santucci has been charged with first degree attempted murder, kidnapping, unlawful sexual contact with someone under 13 and possession of child pornography.

He arrived back in Delaware on May 1.

The arrest is welcome news to the community who has been on edge since the abduction.

New Castle County Police say on April 6, a four-year-old girl was playing outside in the Village of Plum Run when she was approached by a white male, according to witnesses.

Police say the man then took the little girl into his car and drove off.

About two hours later, a passerby found the four-year-old girl walking by Banning Park, about eight miles away from her neighborhood.

Paramedics took the girl to DuPont Hospital where investigators determined she had been sexually assaulted.

A woman tells Eyewitness News she knows the suspect and is very stunned.

Tabitha Merrit says, “I know he went to jail and recently got out like a year ago. I didn’t think he was like that, I just found out today and we’re all really freaked out. You feel like you know somebody and then you find out something crazy like that, and I just had no idea.”

Santucci has been arraigned and committed after failing to post over $1 million bail.

Police say although an arrest have been made, the investigation is ongoing.

 

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