Avery Howard, 32, of Brockton, Massachusetts was charged with kidnapping and assault and battery Friday night after a missing 6-year-old girl was found with him hours earlier.
The girl, who's name has not been released, disappeared from her hometown of Norton, Mass., and was found safe in nearby Easton after a search that lasted several hours.
According to Norton police, the girl went missing in the area of East Main Street near the Easton line around 12:15 p.m. on Friday.
She was first seen on her own with a small pink suitcase. After, she was spotted in the area of Shaws Supermarket on Depot Street in Easton.
Norton police later received two tips that a child had gotten into a car with a man in the area of 792 Foundry St. around 11:45 a.m.
The child's description matched that of the missing girl.
"We rallied up detectives and officers and began to canvass that area. At approximately 2:45 p.m. as we were canvassing that area, a suspect vehicle came to the area we were [in]," Norton Police Chief Brian Clark said.
A detective stopped the vehicle, being driven by Howard, and found the missing child in the front seat.
Witness Amelia Moran watched as Howard was detained directly outside of her Easton home.
"The car just shows up and the police just stop him," she said. "She was just crying she was so scared."
Moran added that she heard Howard say, "Oh, I just found her. I just wanted her to be safe."
Clark said that "we don't know what the driver's intentions were, but the girl appears to be OK."
After learning of the girl's safe recovery, one of her family members said that "we want to give glory to God."
"She's safe," said another family member. "That's all that matters - she's safe."
Howard was detained and questioned. He was charged later in the evening and transported to New Bedford House of Correction. He will be arraigned in Taunton District Court.