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Missing Girls, 12, Return, Tell of Kidnaping, Rape

December 30, 1985|Associated Press

STAPLETON, Ga. — Two 12-year-old girls who disappeared a week ago while riding their bicycles on an isolated dirt road returned home here today saying they had been abducted by two men in a pickup truck and raped, officials said.

Robert Chalker, a member of a team that had searched for the girls, said Jessica Barrow and Elizabeth Tanner walked up to the Barrow home at 7:30 a.m.

The girls told authorities they had been abducted by two men who dropped them off in this small east Georgia town early today. A lookout was issued for the white Chevrolet pickup truck.

The girls also said they had been raped, according to Jefferson County dispatcher B. A. Lampp.

Search coordinator Ralph McGahee said the girls were questioned by sheriff's officers and taken to Jefferson County Hospital in Louisville for checkups. He said both appeared to be "in excellent shape."

A hospital spokeswoman said the girls were to be transferred to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital in Augusta later in the day. The reason for the move was not disclosed.

Jessica's aunt, Mary Carter Barrow, said the youngster's Christmas presents had been kept wrapped and waiting for her and "it looks like she's opened some of them" before going to the hospital.

The return came one day after Jefferson County authorities called off the search by hundreds of volunteers.

The girls vanished about sundown Dec. 22. Truck tracks were found where the bicycle tracks stopped.

About 400 people had helped comb 400 square miles in five counties, and an Army National Guard photo reconnaissance plane took 900 photographs, but no clues were found.

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