A kidnapped teenage girl has been rescued in the US, after holding up a handwritten note in her captor's parked car saying 'Help Me!'.
A 61-year-old man allegedly kidnapped the 13-year-old girl at gunpoint in Texas, drove her to California, and sexually assaulted her multiple times before his arrest in Long Beach last week.
The man has been charged with one count of kidnapping and one count of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
The girl was reportedly walking down a street when the man, driving a gray Nissan, approached her.
He allegedly raised a black handgun and told her to get in the car.
The man then repeatedly sexually assaulted the victim, according to court documents.
Over the next two days, he allegedly drove the victim from Texas to California and sexually assaulted her at least two more times.
On the morning of July 9th, he parked the car in Long Beach and took their clothes to a laundrette.
The victim stayed in the car and wrote 'Help Me!' on a piece of paper to try and get someone's attention.
A passing witness phoned police, who saw the man standing outside the vehicle and the girl - who mouthed the word “Help” - inside the car, court documents say.
During a search of the car, officers retrieved a black BB gun, a 'Help Me!' sign and a pair of handcuffs.
The man could face a statutory maximum sentence of life in US federal prison if convicted.
Touch Vong, who works at Easy Wash Laundromat, told NBC News she had a bad feeling when she saw the man with the child.
"He looked down at me," said Ms Vong, who described the man as scary and immediately thought something was not right.
She said the woman who called the police was a customer of hers who told her the girl needed help.
Ms Vong added: "I'm shocked, but happy because the police rescued her. I just want her and her family now to be happy and safe."
Additional reporting: IRN