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Abducted teen girl safe, suspect in custody after standoff

PENN HILLS, Pa. — A teenage girl was taken from her home in Penn Hills on Wednesday night, according to the police chief.

Police told Channel 11 News the 16-year-old had last been seen at her Glenbrook Court home around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday when Jermaine Rodgers, 19, allegedly abducted her.

The girl was found early Thursday morning and Rodgers was taken into custody, authorities said.

5:56 a.m. UPDATE 1/18: The family of the girl who was abducted issued a statement following her safe return.

"First and foremost, my family and I are thankful to God for the return of (the victim). Secondly, we would like to thank the local news stations, and the local law-enforcement agencies for their continued efforts in making sure that my family and myself are okay. At this time, we just ask for your continued prayers as we seek understanding in the tragic event that took place. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the other young lady and her family who was missing, and am thankful for the police who also returned to her home."

6 p.m. UPDATE 1/17: Christian Peterson, 18, will be charged by McKeesport Police with hindering apprehension or prosecution and obstructing administration of law or other government function, according to Allegheny County police.

He was also int he McKeesport home where police found Rodgers.

5 p.m. UPDATE 1/17: Investigators told Channel 11 that surveillance video may have saved them hours in finding the victim.

The victim's mother allegedly saw Rodgers break-in via a security system inside their home.

"When it's finished it's a sign of relief, job well done," said Penn Hills police chief Howard Burton. "She saw this taking place and she called 911 and officers respond and no one is there."

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According to the criminal complaint, the mother witnessed her daughter "being assaulted on the security video" including being "punched in the face ... enough to knock her to the ground and while she was on the ground, Rodgers punched her several more times."

Police told Channel 11 the other person in the home at the time who witnessed the assault never called them and without the victim's mother taking immediate action, their case may have been stalled.

"He could have been there, taken her and who knows what time mom come home, and dad come home, it could have been 8-10 hours," Burton said. "All the officers invovled, no matter the department, want to get the girl back home as safely as quickly as possible."

10 a.m. UPDATE 1/17: Police said the victim did not have a protection from abuse order against 19-year-old abduction suspect Jermaine Rodgers.

8 a.m. UPDATE 1/17: A Facebook Live helped lead police to the McKeesport home where 19-year-old abduction suspect Jermaine Rodgers and the 16-year-old victim were located early Thursday morning, Penn Hills Police Chief Howard Burton said.

Someone called a Penn Hills sergeant to report seeing Rodgers and the girl on the Facebook Live, Burton said.

Using the information provided to them, police were able to pinpoint the location of the house where they found the girl and arrested Rodgers, who was hiding in a coal cellar, authorities said.

>>RELATED: What we know about Penn Hills abduction suspect

Wednesday was not the first time police investigated an incident involving Rodgers and the girl.

In January 2018, Rodgers took the girl, his ex-girlfriend, from a school bus and put her in the back of an SUV and started beating her, Burton said. Rodgers then held her at a Wilkinsburg apartment for four days.

Rodgers had been placed on probation on Dec. 6, 2018. Burton said the probation was to last a full year.

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6 a.m. UPDATE 1/17: Abduction suspect Jermaine Rodgers, 19, was arrested early Thursday morning after police received a tip that he was at a home on 28th Street in McKeesport.

SWAT officers moved in and were able to rescue the 16-year-old victim from the home. She had allegedly been taken from her home in Penn Hills Wednesday afternoon by Rodgers, who police said allegedly broke in and beat the girl.

The victim’s mother witnessed the attack on surveillance video, according to court documents.

Rodgers is the victim’s ex-boyfriend, police said.

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During the standoff in McKeesport, authorities could be heard shouting for Rodgers to come out of the home with his hands up.

Rodgers was found hiding in a coal cellar by SWAT officers, officials said.

“Members of the SWAT team had to physically find him in the coal cellar,” Inspector Christopher Kearns of Allegheny County Police said. “It was under the front porch. They broke the window so they could see into the area and that's where they saw him hiding.”

In addition to finding Rodgers and the victim in the home, authorities said a missing juvenile from Munhall was located. Further details were not immediately available.

The girl who was the subject of the earlier Amber Alert had injuries to her face and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Rodgers was taken to the Allegheny County Jail on a number of charges including nurglary, kidnapping and assault. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 28 at 10 a.m.

3:45 a.m. UPDATE 1/17: The teenage girl is safe and the suspect, Jermaine Rodgers, is in custody after a standoff in McKeesport. The girl has been taken to a hospital for treatment and Rodgers is being taken to the Allegheny County Jail.

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2:18 a.m. UPDATE 1/17: The Amber Alert for the 16-year-old girl has been canceled. Channel 11 News is working to learn more details about where she was found and if she had any injuries.

11 p.m. UPDATE 1/16: Rodgers broke through the front door to get to the girl, according to a criminal complaint.

The girl attends Penn Hills High School.

Her stepfather told Channel 11 News her friend was also inside the home. She told police Rodgers had a gun, and police are working to confirm that.

10:45 p.m. UPDATE 1/16: The teenage girl is the niece of professional wrestler Kurt Angle. He posted to social media Wednesday night.

10:40 p.m. UPDATE 1/16Rodgers has been accused of abducting the girl before, according to police.

He was arrested in 2018 for allegedly holding her against her will for several days inside a Wilkinsburg apartment.

9:45 p.m. UPDATE 1/16: Rodgers was armed when he allegedly abducted the girl, according to a criminal complaint.

According to the complaint, there is surveillance camera footage of the incident.

The girl's friend was there when the alleged abduction happened. She told police there may have been a second person in the car with Rodgers.

9 p.m. UPDATE 1/16: Rodgers was arrested in March for allegations following a January 2018 incident where he was accused of holding a female minor against her will in a Wilkinsburg apartment for four days.

It's unclear if the victim in that case was the teenage girl for whom the Amber Alert has been issued.

8:40 p.m. UPDATE 1/16: The teenage girl's stepfather told Channel 11 News her ex-boyfriend broke into their home today, beat her up, then took her from the house.

8:30 p.m. UPDATE 1/16An Amber Alert has been issued for a 16-year-old girl.

She's a black female, 5'4", weighing 140 pounds with long black hair and blond highlights.

She was wearing a gray long-sleeved shirt, light blue denim jeans and tan boots.

Jermaine LaQuay Rodgers, 19, is suspected of taking her. He's a black male, 5' 8", weighing 160 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

He was last seen driving an older red sedan.


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