Bored? Broke? 👉 Savvy Saver

‘Hero’ saves kidnapped girl by pretending to be her mother

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SANTA ANA, Calif. - While one woman was arrested in California for allegedly trying to kidnap a 12-year-old girl on her way to school, another woman is being hailed a hero for thwarting the kidnapping by stepping in and claiming to be the girl's mother.

Police say Amy Martinez was walking to Lathrop Intermediate School in Santa Ana when a woman, described as homeless, grabbed Amy and, speaking in Spanish, told her not to cry. "She just came up to me and went like this," Amy told KTLA, gesturing with a bear hug. “And then she started walking with me away.”

Claudia Hernandez Diaz was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping a 12-year-old girl. Credit: Santa Ana Police Department










Police say a mom who had just dropped off her child at the school saw what was going on and jumped in, telling the suspect, identified as Claudia Hernandez Diaz, that she was Amy's mother and to let her daughter go.

The Good Samaritan got Amy away from Diaz and took the girl inside the school. Police responded and took 34-year-old Diaz into custody.

Amy says the woman saved her life and is a hero. Pretty sure Amy's real mom agrees.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.