California man arrested in Australia for kidnapping 4-year-old girl

A 59-year-old southern California man was arrested in connection with the abduction of a 4-year-old girl from a Melbourne, Australia, mall last week. Police in Victoria state have said that John Raymond Dorie’s claims that the girl’s father took her are not credible. “While it is true that everyone involved made the decision to place the child into Dorie’s care, Dorie was not babysitting,” Victoria Police said in a statement. “The evidence available to Victoria Police and Ms Mirabella (the Minister for Child Protection) indicates that the family that was temporarily housed by Dorie had recently been allowed back to live.”

The girl, Isabella, was taken from the Crown Towers shopping mall last Wednesday evening after she had been speaking to her father, Luke Kneen, and his new girlfriend, Tara Mirabella, at a restaurant. The 20-year-old mother and a friend allegedly followed the girl into the mall and waited for Kneen to emerge from a fitness center at the mall before abducting her, according to Australian Broadcasting Corp. Mirabella and her friend, 33-year-old Taylor Kneen, followed the girl in a 2016 Nissan Murano and were spotted later by police, who had pulled the car over because it had broken the speed limit.

The woman drove the girls to the Palms intersection in Melbourne, but ran out of petrol as the pair drove away in her car, according to Victoria Police. Mirabella reportedly followed in the Murano, and the children were able to escape when the driver suddenly gunned the engine and drove away.

On Monday, Mirabella was charged with two counts of kidnapping and is due to appear in court on October 19. Kneen has not been charged as police have said the matter is still “under investigation.” The children are with foster parents.

Read the full story at Sydney Morning Herald.

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