It was about 6:00 on a cold November evening; Alex Walker, and her five-year-old daughter, Angela, walked out of the grocery store hand-in-hand. Alex was picking up several items for dinner that night. Alex listened intently as Angela told her mother about her day at the HOPE center.
"…and Mommy, guess what?"
"We colored pictures today, and I drew you one for your office. It's in my pocket, see here…"
Angela stopped quickly to pull the picture out of her pocket. As she pulled it out, and continued walking, the picture got caught in her pocket and ripped in half. Angela suddenly broke down crying.
"I'm so sorry Mommy," She said with tears streaking down her face. "I really wanted you to have it. I worked so hard on it just for you."
By this time, they made it to Alex's white SUV and Alex had opened the door and put the bag of things in. She looked at her daughter, whose face was now tearstained. Alex looked down at her daughter and picked her up. She wiped Angela's face and looked into her little girl's eyes.
"It's okay sweetie pie, when we go home, you can draw me another one if you want to. If you want, I'll even sit down and color with you."
"Really? I love it when you color with me. You and Daddy are always so busy; y'all never have time for me. I love when you guys have time for me."
"Y'all are always so busy. I don't see y'all much. I stay at the HOPE center so much in the daytime, and at night I have to sleep."
"Yes sweetie, we do work, but I don't want you to think that work's ever more important than you. You are the most important thing in this world to us and we love you more than anything. I don't want to ever hear of you thinking that something's more important than you. You are our miracle and our angel and we love you more than you could ever know. How about I take tomorrow off, and we'll spend the day together, just you and me?"
"Really Mommy, That'll be so much fun. I love you."
"I love you too baby girl, but we need to get going so we can go home and color together. So get in your seat and buckle yourself in."
Angela hopped out of her mother's arms and into her child seat. She pulled the belt over her head and hooked it in. Alex checked to make sure Angela had buckled herself in safely, after doing so; she shut the back door and went to get in her seat. She buckled up and they started on their way home.
Unbeknownst to Alex, two men who had seen the two girls in the parking lot were following them. These men were rapists from Charleston, South Carolina. They had been known to rape white females ranging from toddlers to middle aged woman. They were being hunted by law enforcement in and around the Lowcountry area of South Carolina.
On the way home, Alex and Angela began to talk about what they would color pictures of when they got home.
"I want to draw a big house with pretty trees and flowers in front Mommy. Will you help me with it?"
"Of course sweetie, I'd be happy to help you."
Alex turned on a back road leading to their home. She came to a stop sign and stopped. As she did, the two men suddenly approached the back window across from Angela. Angela saw them and began screaming.
"MOMMY, There's two men trying to get me! Mommy, help!"
Alex turned around and saw them.
"Angela, unhook your belt and come here. Hurry!"
Alex quickly tried to help her daughter and dial her cell phone at the same time. Her efforts seemed futile and before she knew it the men were bashing the back passenger window. The moment they did that, Angela was able to get unbuckled and she hopped into the front seat into her mother's lap, who tried to get out of her door. Before she knew it the men grabbed Angela by her hair when Alex got the door open. Angela couldn't go and Alex wasn't about to leave her child. The man held a gun to Angela's head and told Alex to quietly and peacefully get in the back seat with her daughter. Alex began to cry and did as she was told, for she feared her daughter's life. She hopped over the seat, and sat in the back with Angela, quickly drying her tears as to try and keep Angela calm. One of the men then went back to their vehicle, and one got in the driver's seat of Alex's, threw out her phone and started on his way. The man told Alex to cooperate and he might let them live. Angela began to cry. The men told Alex to make her stupid kid shut up or he'd kill them both right there. Alex picked Angela up off the seat and sat her in her lap and simply held her close and whispered to her, telling Angela that it would all be okay, and that her daddy would come and get them and they'd all go home and color together. Angela began to quiet down as her mother held her close, stroking Angela's hair. Soon the other vehicle had been ditched and they stopped and the man got in the front seat of Alex's SUV.
It was now 8:00 and Walker was wondering where his girls were. "They should've been home an hour ago." He thought to himself. He calls Alex's cell phone and gets the standard message that her phone has been cut off. He begins calling around to see if anyone's heard from them.
After driving for a while in Alex's vehicle, the men decided they'd have to ditch it incase they were being looked for. They stopped at a diner and Alex begged them to let her and Angela go to the restroom. The men finally let them and told her that if she tried anything, the kid would suffer. That was all it took to keep Alex from doing anything. She carried her child to the restroom and straight back. The men had come up with a van when the girls got back outside. They opened the sliding door and ushered Alex and Angela in. Once they were on their way again, the men realized they didn't know who these people were.
"I forgot to introduce myself. My name's Wesley and this is my friend John. Who are you?"
"What's it matter?"
"It doesn't matter to me, but I bet it matters to that kid that you seem to be very attached to." Wesley said as he pointed the gun to Angela's head.
"My name's Alex and this is my daughter, Angela."
"Was that so hard?"
Alex ignored him and just sat there, holding Angela and staring out the window. Finally, after riding for another hour, Angela fell asleep in her mother's lap.
Walker had an APB put out on Alex's SUV. He found it at a diner outside of town. He went in showing pictures, asking if anyone had seen them. One of the waitresses said that she saw the two come in and use the facilities and leave. She also said that they both looked very scared, that the woman was carrying the girl and they didn't look anywhere near anyone except each other. One patron said she'd seen the two ushered into the back of a van by two men. Walker thanked them for their information and took off to looking for Alex and Angela again.