Officials ‘amazed' abducted NC 3-year-old made it out alive

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A 3-year-old girl is safe with her mother after an Amber Alert was issued for the girl by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety Sunday morning.

The child was found by the U.S. Marshals Service and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.

Police say that 57-year-old Maurice Knox abducted Destiny Boykins, who is his daughter, from the Hudson Woods apartment complex off E Hudson Blvd in Gastonia.

One of the residents at that apartment complex, Angel Mercado, was shocked to see his home listed on the Amber Alert.

“I saw the building number is the one that I live in I was like what’s going on,” said Mercado.

Deputies with the US Marshall Service located the vehicle Knox was driving, a Nissan Altima, with his daughter inside, and attempted to conduct a traffic stop.

Knox refused to stop and a vehicle pursuit began. As the pursuit continued in Charlotte, a CMPD K-9 officer became involved on I-77 north near S. Tryon Street.

Knox continued to flee from officers and exited off of I-77 North onto Remount Rd until he crashed with two other vehicles on Remount Road at Toomey Avenue.

Knox was driving while impaired and was found unconscious in the drivers seat at the site of the crash.

Destiny was found in the passenger seat, buckled in but without a car seat. Marshals say they were “amazed she made it out alive.”

Everyone involved in the crash was taken to the hospital by MEDIC.

Destiny is being treated for non-life threatening injuries. Knox was also admitted to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Knox was charged with kidnapping, child abuse, domestic criminal trespass, breaking and entering, assault on a female, felonious restraint, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer, and careless and reckless driving.

Maurice Knox
Maurice Knox

CMPD said Knox was impaired at the time of the crash.

Police obtained warrants for arrest against Knox for DWI, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of felony serious injury by motor vehicle, felony flee to elude a law enforcement officer, felony child abuse/neglect and reckless driving.

These warrants will be served on Knox once he has been released from the hospital.

Knox was also in violation of a domestic violence protection order from Gaston County. Other charges may be pending from additional agencies who assisted in the efforts to locate Destiny Boykins.

Mercado says this incident serves as a reminder to keep your children close.

“I got two kids. I was thinking about if that happened to me, I would be like, oh crazy," said Mercado. You never know if that’s going to happen to you one day.”

Officials with the Gastonia Police Department says they would also like to recognize the following organizations whose contribution was instrumental in the safe recovery of Destiny Boykins: The Federal Bureau of Investigations, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, and the State Bureau of Investigations.

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