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Screams emerging from a darkened, heavily wooded area early Sunday likely saved the life of a 10-year-old abducted child, police said.
“What happened to this little girl is just horrible,’’ said Norman Chaffins, spokesman for Kentucky State Police. “She doesn’t realize it, but what she did in this situation will help others.”
The sleeping child was abducted from a River Road home in LaRue County around midnight and taken into the woods where she was sexually assaulted and choked, police said.
The child was left in a home with an elderly woman, who was asleep, and 28-year-old Jetto Dye of Hodgenville. Police said the child’s mother was out of the house for about 10 minutes when the child was taken. She was test driving a recently repaired vehicle.
Dye was hunted down and captured at 3:17 a.m. Sunday about a half-mile to three-quarters of a mile behind the home when police unleashed a police dog named Fero on him.
Fero, a 2-year-old German shepherd from Slovakia, attacked Dye, biting him once with a severe gash on his left leg above the knee, which required surgery. He remained Tuesday afternoon at University Hospital in Louisville.
The child was treated and released from Hardin Memorial Hospital.
“Her reaction is probably what saved her life,’’ Chaffins said. “If she hadn’t screamed, she probably wouldn’t be here today.’’
Chaffins said it is crucial for children to draw attention to any uncomfortable or threatening situation to alert the public.
He said he received two calls since the attack from groups asking that he speak to children regarding actions that should be taken if a situation like this or others arise.
“I don’t like calling it ‘stranger danger’ because it is not always a stranger,’’ he said. “This child knew this person, and there was a certain level of trust there. So it is not always a stranger in these situations.’’
Chaffins said Dye is not related to the girl.
“When there is someone who makes you feel uncomfortable, you need to trust your instincts,’’ Chaffins said.
When the child’s mother returned home, the girl was missing, and the adults in the home started calling for her and eventually heard the child’s screams.
Chaffins said Dye was captured about “45 to 50 minutes’’ after Trooper Seth Payne and Fero arrived.
Dye has been charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, first-degree sexual abuse (victim younger than 12), first-degree attempted rape and resisting arrest, according to police. More charges could be filed.
Dye faces 20 years to life in prison if convicted.
Jeff D’Alessio can be reached at (270) 505-1757 or email@example.com.