Zephyrhills woman arrested for holding a 9-year-old girl captive for hours

ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. - A Pasco County mother is happy to have her daughter home safe and sound after she was allegedly kidnapped on her way to the bus stop Wednesday morning. 

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"Every possibility that could have happened ran through my head," the victim's mother, Sarah McIntosh, said. "I'm just thankful she's home safe."

Yesterday morning, McIntosh's 9-year-old daughter was walking to her school bus stop, located at the corner of Isabelle Drive and Ernest Drive, but she never made it.

According to the Pasco Sheriff's Office, a neighbor the child had never met before, Diane Marcino, tried to get the child to come to her mobile home. When the girl continued walking, the affidavit says Marcino proceeded to pull the child by her book bag into her residence telling her "bad people are after her."

"She fed her popcorn, they colored, read books," McIntosh said. 

The child reportedly stayed there the entire day unbeknownst to her family and friends who thought she was safe in school. 

The little girl told deputies Marcino, 56, never hurt her, but she wouldn't let her leave until 4 p.m., which is when  her bus normally drops her off. 

"I was livid," said neighbor Janet Gonzalez-Shell. "As a parent, when I got home last night I broke down."

Neighbors, like Gonzalez-Shell, say Marcino is known in the neighborhood as "the crazy lady." Several people told ABC Action News, Marcino always carries a golf club and wears several layers of clothes no matter what the temperature is outside.

"She's always got triple jackets on, double pants on. She has a dog that's really matted up," said neighbor Thomas Evans.

"It is a danger, not only to us, but to the community," said Gonzalez-Shell.

Marcino was arrested for false imprisonment of a child. On Thursday, no one answered at her Zephyrhills residence. 

 

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