‘It could have been one of our kids’: Harker Heights neighbors save child from attempted kidnapping

Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 9:00 PM CDT
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HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas (KWTX) - An after-school walk almost ended in tragedy for a young Central Texas girl after stranger lured her into his car and took off with her until three neighbors stepped in to save the girl.

Marco Gonzalez, 28, of Harker Heights, is charged with kidnapping, a third degree felony, in the failed Sept. 28 kidnapping attempt.

Every day, a Harker Heights couple takes Anne Boulevard on the drive home from work. It’s a road that many school children also take on the way home from school.

On Wednesday, the couple, who did not want to be identified due to potential retaliation from friends of the suspect, noticed something unusual.

“We realized she got in the car. I don’t know. I just don’t feel good. It seems kind of strange,” they said.

They saw a girl, who usually walks home from school, hesitantly, get inside the truck of a man they didn’t recognize.

“If that child knew that person. Any child would run up to a person they kind of know, the couple said.

Knowing something was wrong, the couple began to follow the man until he stopped. He backed his truck in front of the woods at a cul de sac on Lark Circle.

“That’s when we realized something’s not right. Something was not okay.”

Marco Gonzalez, 28, is charged with kidnapping
Marco Gonzalez, 28, is charged with kidnapping(KWTX Graphic)

So the couple called their friend, Angela, who approached the man - later identified as Gonzalez - in the stopped truck and asked him what was going on. Angela told him how she knew about the regular routine of the girl walking home from school every day.

Then Angela and the wife grabbed the child, got her out of the truck, and plalced her in Angela’s car.

Angela said the girl was confused at this point.

“I tried to ask her – what did he say? What did he ask you?” Angela said. “That’s when she started getting really upset, like her being terrified really kicked in.”

The couple and Angela have kids that go to school with the girl.

“It’s just hard because it could’ve been one of our kids, so we have to do what we have to do to look after our babies and that’s what I did,” Angela said.

Not stepping in, and this save could’ve turned into a tragic loss.

“After it all happened and she got in the car with me, it was crazy.” Angela said. “That’s when the adrenaline set in. It was crazy, that’s all I can say. It’s something I never would’ve thought to go through in real life.”

Gonzalez is being held at the Bell County Jail on a $500,000 bond.