ARLINGTON, Va. - An Amber Alert has been issued for a 12-year-old girl from China who is believed to have been abducted at Reagan National Airport.
Authorities said JinJing Ma was in the United States as part of a tour group when she was abducted by an unknown woman at around 8:15 a.m. Thursday.
While the tour group was checking in and after the girl received her passport, the 12-year-old stated she was going to use the restroom, police said. However, it appears Ma did not make it to the restroom and instead met up with the female suspect who assisted in helping change the girl's clothes. Afterwards, they walked together to the Arrivals area before leaving the airport.
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Chief David Huchler said when the girl and the woman were leaving the airport, they were seen getting into a white 2016 or 2018 Infiniti QX70 with New York tags. Investigators are still working to identify the license plate number.
Before the female suspect made contact with the 12-year-old girl, the woman was seen with an Asian man arriving at the airport on the ticketing/departures level walking south toward Door 6. It is believed the man was driving the Infiniti SUV.
"At this point, we don't know the exact circumstance as to why the child left with this Asian female," said Huchler. "The child appears to have left without any force. She entered the vehicle without any force. But that does not release any of our concerns. We're still very concerned because we don't know why this child left with that Asian female."
Officials said another student in the tour group informed chaperones that Ma was missing.
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police said they were not informed about the missing girl about an hour after she left the airport. Police issued an Amber Alert later Thursday afternoon.
"We had no reason to believe that the child should have left with these people, but we are trying to track down leads to ascertain what had occurred before we put out the Amber Alert or held the press conference," said Huchler.
A witness stated he may have seen Ma meet and receive food from the female suspect when the tour group was in New York City, according to the FBI.
The 12-year-old girl is described as 4-feet-11-inches and weighs 90 pounds. She has medium black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans and a black jacket.
The woman who is believed to have abducted the girl is described as approximately 40 years old, 5-feet-2 to 5-feet-5-inches tall, weighing 130 pounds and was wearing a black dress.
According to police, the Chinese student tour group was visiting the United States looking at schools along with sightseeing. The group has been in the U.S. since July 26 and arrived at Reagan National Airport from New York City. The group was expected to travel out to the West Coast before eventually heading back to China.
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police said they are working with the FBI’s Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force and Virginia State Police in this case. They have also enlisted the help from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Anyone with information about Ma's whereabouts or the abductor is asked to call Virginia State Police at 1-800-822-4453 or Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police at 703-417-2400