Editor's note: Antioch police clarified on Monday that Le Shay Burks, who told this newspaper and other media outlets that she had alerted police to the kidnapping suspect's vehicle, had not arrived on the scene until after a police detective had taken the suspect into custody.
ANTIOCH -- Le Shay Burks' birthday celebration Friday night just happened to take her to the Antioch Marina. There, she and her sister just happened to park next to a Toyota Camry with its windows fogged from the inside.
Burks didn't think too much about the fogged windows until her other sister just happened to call to tell her about an Amber Alert regarding a local 7-year-old girl who had been kidnapped by an armed man and driven away in a Camry.
Burks, who describes herself as "overly nosy," followed her instincts and walked up to the car. There, she said, she saw the young kidnap victim lying in the back seat with David Allen Douglas, 43.
She thought about pounding on the window but turned instead to a car passing behind her. And, it just happened to be driven by a plainclothes Antioch police officer who was aiding the search.
"I like to check things out, no matter what it is," Burks said Saturday. "It's gonna get me in trouble one day."
The 25-year-old customer service rep's curiosity was the young girl's ¿salvation Friday night. After spending most of Saturday morning at the hospital, she and her parents returned to their home around 6 a.m. The young girl went to sleep in her own bed.
The girl's family declined interview requests Saturday. Men identifying themselves as her grandfather and her father both said she was doing "OK."
Douglas was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and held on $4 million bail in the Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez.
"I couldn't believe it," Burks said. "It was really happening and I couldn't believe (Douglas) had the (gall) to drive right past the police station to the marina. When the police arrested him, he just kept staring at me. I had to leave, I just couldn't take it."
The drama began Friday evening when, according to police, the girl and her mother had been shopping at Walmart and returned to their well-kept, modest two story home on Antioch's south side.
They were unloading the car when a man drove up in a gold Toyota Camry, got out and grabbed the girl. When the girl's mother tried to pull her daughter back, the man pulled a gun and dragged the girl into his car, police said.
The search for the girl began at 6:45 p.m., and Antioch police officers and FBI agents had Douglas as a person of interest "within a relatively short amount of time," Antioch police Chief Allan Cantando said in a news release. Police said Douglas was also positively identified as a suspect in an attempted kidnapping Friday morning in Antioch.
Right after the girl had been found, the police said she appeared to be physically unharmed. On Saturday evening, though, Cantando said that officers were investigating whether the girl had been sexually assaulted. "We are still investigating that aspect of the incident," he said.
For that reason, this newspaper is no longer naming her or her family even though the names were used in the Amber Alert.
Police Lt. John VanderKlugt, who had been part of the search to find the girl, said early Saturday he was informed of her safe return when he came back to the police station to check on more leads.
"I didn't even know she had been found," he said. "When I walked in and they told me she was safe, that was all I needed to hear. Perfect."
A Facebook entry for David Douglas identifies him as an Antioch resident who is an adviser at World Financial Group. He posted photos that show him as an ex-Marine who, he notes, trained for Desert Storm, the 1990 invasion of Iraq to free Kuwait.
He is not a registered sex offender, according to the Megan's Law website, which tracks such offenders in California.