A 7-year-old girl from Massachusetts has miraculously escaped with her life after being allegedly kidnapped, choked and thrown off a bridge.
According to authorities, the girl was asleep in her grandparent’s living room in Worcester when she was taken.
Police allege 35-year-old Joshua Hubert, who was invited to the party at the house, took the girl without her parent’s permission.
CBS Boston reports that Hubert was a family friend. Investigators say he allegedly put the girl in a car and choked her, before throwing her off a bridge over Lake Quinsigamond.
The 7-year-old swam to the shore and then found her way to a home nearby, where she received help from a neighbor.
As PEOPLE reports, Hubert has been charged with kidnapping and was arraigned on Monday afternoon. He has not yet entered a plea for the charges.
Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said in a statement that “a greater tragedy” had been averted.
“The young victim had the strength to make it to shore and get help. I want to thank the resident who answered the door and helped the girl,” he said.
“I also want to acknowledge the Worcester and Shrewsbury police and the State Police Detectives assigned to my office. They did a terrific job working together in investigating this case.”