SHREWSBURY (CBS) — “Gosh, I’d like to give her a hug,” said Maeve Geary. She was talking about the seven-year-old girl who came knocking on her door in the middle of the night last weekend.
Geary lives in an apartment on the edge of Lake Quinsigamond in the shadow of the I-290 bridge in Shrewsbury.
It was 4 a.m. Sunday. “A steady calm knocking, no hammering. I went to my door and switched the light on and could just see, in the glass of my door, just a tiny little person,” she told WBZ-TV.
The girl was injured and soaking wet.
Worcester Police said the seven-year-old survived being abducted, choked, and thrown off a bridge early Sunday morning.
Hours later, the child picked out 35-year-old Joshua Hubert from a photo lineup.
Prosecutors said he was a family friend who kidnapped the child from a party at her grandparents’ Worcester home. Hubert is accused of choking the girl and throwing her off the bridge into the lake.
The Fay School in Southborough came forward as Hubert’s employer.
“Mr. Hubert was still in his probationary period of employment, and over the past seven weeks, he did not have any unsupervised interactions with students in our summer programs. We have suspended Mr. Hubert indefinitely,” Rob Gustavson, the Head of School said in a letter to parents.
Hubert was ordered held without bail on a kidnapping charge Monday. A dangerous hearing is scheduled for Thursday.
“As she deals with this and when she grows up,” said Geary, “I would just want her to remember how amazing she is. To swim the way she did with the resistance of wearing clothing in the water, to have had the foresight and the ability to just knock on a stranger’s door.”
Geary said she gave the girl blankets to keep her warm, her old teddy bear, and even a fidget spinner, anything to comfort her. She remembers that the girl sat calmly waiting for police and an ambulance to take her to the hospital.
Geary is a PhD candidate who once worked as a bouncer in a bar in England. She also practices kickboxing and prides herself in being tough.
Yet, she said this girl put her to shame.
“She’s incredible,” said Geary. “That if she’s overcome something like this at the age she did, her life is going to be amazing.”
“I’ll never forget her.”