Missing worker says she was abducted near Penn Station

January 10, 1994|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,Staff Writer

Based on incorrect information from the city police department, Monday's editions of The Sun reported incorrectly that a tow truck driver found a kidnap victim walking along I-95 in Harford County early Sunday.

In fact, the victim was picked up by a motorist, Sam Tiburzi, of Fallston, who drove her to a hospital.

+ The Sun regrets the errors.

A child-care counselor who disappeared Friday evening from Penn Station was found early yesterday walking along Interstate 95 in Harford County after escaping from an armed abductor, she told police.

Bernadette A. McDonald was found shaken but with only a small bump on her head after fleeing when the car they were traveling in was disabled by a flat tire.


She was treated at Franklin Square Hospital for hypothermia, Baltimore police said.

Ms. McDonald, 36, told authorities that her 36-hour ordeal began Friday evening, shortly after she started her work shift for Florence Crittenton Services, a home for sexually and physically abused girls.

After dropping off a Crittenton resident at Pennsylvania Station about 6 p.m., Ms. McDonald told police, she returned to her Crittenton station wagon, parked at Mount Royal Avenue and St. Paul Street, and found a gunman in the car, said Sgt. Kurt Ellinger, of the city Police Department's missing persons unit.

She said the gunman ordered her to drive him to Pennsylvania, where they spent many hours traveling through the outskirts of Philadelphia and Lancaster, according to city police spokesman Sam Ringgold.

Although Ms. McDonald told police she did not know the man's motives for the abduction, she said he made her stop at several locations for him to make phone calls.

On returning to Maryland early yesterday, a tire on the station wagon went flat while they were traveling south on I-95 near Route 152, she told police. She said when the car stopped, her abductor struck her on the head with a steering wheel device used to prevent auto theft, then let her go.

The gunman also fled. He was described as black, 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, with a large gap between his upper front teeth and a mustache.

He was wearing a striped, hooded shirt and baggy light-blue jeans, police said.

A tow truck driver picked up Ms. McDonald about 6 a.m. yesterday as she walked along the shoulder of the highway.

Sergeant Ellinger said the tow truck driver then turned Ms. McDonald over to a state trooper, who took her to Franklin Square Hospital.

Ms. McDonald had been reported missing by a co-worker.

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