Ferndale Student Abducted from Gas Station, Now Safe

Ferndale Student Abducted from Gas Station, Now Safe

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Nov. 18, 2021)

Ferndale, MI – A student has been reunited with her family after being abducted from a Ferndale gas station.

Ferndale Police worked with the FBI to find the girl, but they aren’t releasing details just yet.

However Ferndale Schools sent a letter home to parents about the incident.  Superintendent Dania Bazzi wrote to parents on Nov. 17:

“I am elated to report that the female FHS student who was abducted yesterday was located later that afternoon and is back with her family.

Yesterday, a female FHS student was abducted from a gas station while refueling her car between classes at FHS and CASA. The abduction was reported to the Ferndale Police Department who took swift action and were able to locate her with the help of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

The safety of our students is our top priority and in instances like this we only communicate with the community when it is approved by the police department so that we do not impede the investigation. During this ordeal we were in constant contact with the Ferndale Police Department and City leadership. I want to express my immense gratitude to Ferndale Police Chief Dennis Emmi and Ferndale City Manager Joseph Gacioch, along with their incredible team. We are so grateful to have such fantastic public servants working alongside us in the City of Ferndale.

I urge you to speak with your child today. Even if they do not know this student personally, an incident like this taking place near their school can be traumatic. We will have counselors available at Ferndale High School for any students who need to speak with someone about yesterdays events.

Thank you for honoring the privacy of this student and her family at this time.

Two suspects in this case are now in custody.”

UPDATE: Ferndale Police released a statement Thursday afternoon, saying:

“As this is an open and ongoing investigation, the Department is limited in what it can share. At this time, we can confirm:

  • The victim, a student of Ferndale High School, has been recovered safely.
  • The possible abduction took place during school hours; however, it did NOT occur at the school or on school property.
  • Ferndale Police have two suspects in custody. Because of the ongoing nature of this case, no additional information can be provided at this time.
  • The threat of danger as it pertains to this case has been resolved, and the community is safe.

Ferndale Police are working with the FBI. We will continue to release additional information as we are able.”

Oakland County Times asked Ferndale Schools’ Communications Director Bill Good about the district’s communications.  “As I am sure you can understand anytime there is an incident like yesterday we follow the directives of law enforcement,” he said. “From the outside it may appear that we are “blowing this off”, however, our top priority was ensuring the safe return of the student and apprehension of the suspects. When there are incidents like this local police ask us not to share certain information, or to limit who we disseminate it to. Last evening we had to balance the need to inform the community while not potentially impeding the police investigation as they worked to apprehend the suspects. As we worked with the City and Police Department the compromise we came to was that we sent the letter to the families of FHS students, but did not post it on social media until we received the go ahead to do so.

“We are in a very difficult situation when we have to strike this kind of balance and we do the best we can, erring on the side of doing what we can for the student in harm’s way.”

In terms of informing students about how to deal with interactions with strangers, Good said “we are going to send that out in our individual school newsletters so that it can be done in an age appropriate manner.”

This story will be updated as more info becomes available.

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