The girl, called Maja, was reported missing on Tuesday in Wołczkowo, a suburb of the Baltic city of Szczecin in north-western Poland.
She was walking home at around 4.40 pm when she was accosted by a car and climbed inside. The girl’s father reported her to the police at around 8 pm.
Police forces managed to get hold of security footage from a local restaurant, which showed one particular vehicle seen driving away at great speed from the area, a short time after the girl was observed to have walked in front of the building.
“People who live here know that [they need to drive] carefully, since there is a pavement very close to the road. This car drove off very violently,” the owner of the restaurant was quoted by broadcaster TVN24 as saying.
“The police officers came to the conclusion that the behavior of the driver was so strange as to warrant an investigation,” he added.
After checking out the number plates on the car, the police found that the vehicle was registered in a woman’s name. When she was contacted, she said that the car was being driven by an acquaintance.
The man in question had already been arraigned in the UK for kidnapping a 9-year-old child.
The car was traced to having crossed the border with Germany, and the German police were involved in the search. The girl was found in a flat in the town of Friedland in Brandenburg, eastern Germany.
The 31-year old, Adrian M. (full name withheld under Polish law), has been arrested and has been charged by Prosecutors in Szczecin for kidnapping. He faces five years behind bars for the offence.
Jacek Powalski, the District Prosecutor, told journalists on Thursday that the girl’s body was found to be bruised, adding that investigations are being held as to whether they were obtained as a result of the kidnapping: if so, Adrian M. could face additional charges as a result.
Meanwhile, the 10 year-old girl has been taken to hospital for observation. (rg/jb)