Abducted 6-year-old N.C. girl found in woods chained to tree, report says

A 6-year-old girl who went missing in North Carolina was found Thursday morning, about 18 hours after she was apparently abducted, chained to a tree, according to several media reports.

The New Hanover County (N.C.) Sheriff’s Office said Stefanny Lopez Castro was abducted from her home in Willoughby Park, south of Wilmington, shortly before 5 p.m. on Wednesday, and an amber alert was issued.

Lt. J.J. Brewer of the Sheriff's Office confirmed to Fox News Latino that the girl was found just before 10 a.m. in a wooded area less than two miles from her home. She was taken to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center for examination, but "she was in good condition," he said. 

"We beat the odds today, it's safe to say," Sheriff Edward McMahon said at a Thursday morning press conference.

Also on Thursday morning sometime after 10 a.m., sheriffs took into custody Douglas Edwards, 46, and charged him with first-degree kidnapping.

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Local NBC affiliate, WECT, reported that the girl was found chained to a tree, but Lt. Brewer said, "I can't confirm that."

Brewer told FNL, "It was our investigation that led to the discovery of the girl," but would not give further details.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the Sheriff's Office transmitted a message from Lopez Castro's family. 

"We would first and foremost like to thank God, the police department, sheriff's department and all the community that went out to search for her in the rain and on their own time," the family said. "Thank you to our neighbors and friends and St. Mary's church who were praying for her, and any others that were praying for her."

WECT spoke to a man who claimed to have been flagged down by sheriffs near where the girl was found. He told the station that officers borrowed a battery-powered saw from him to release her. He told the station that he walked to where the officers were and saw the girl lying on her back, apparently very calm.

Bill Vourvoulias (@bvourvoulias) is an editor at Fox News Latino.

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