JOCELYN ROJAS ABDUCTED THEN SAVED BY TEENAGE HEROES, TEMAR BOGGS & CHRIS GARCIA
JOCELYN ROJAS ABDUCTED THEN SAVED BY TEENAGERS, TEMAR BOGGS & CHRIS GARCIA
On July 11, 2013, five year old Jocelyn Rojas was abducted by a stranger while playing in her Grandmother’s front yard. The suspect had lured Jocelyn near his car with the promise of ice cream, then grabbed her by the neck and shoved her into his car. This beautiful little girl was missing for 2 hours before the teens heroically rescued her.
Temar and Chris, both 15 at the time of the incident, had been spending the day hanging out together when they heard the news that Jocelyn had been abducted in their neighborhood. The two along with other friends hopped on their bikes and joined the search for the little girl. With more than 100 first responders spread throughout the neighborhood, blocking off streets and using canine units, Temar and Chris broke away from the rest of the group after 45 minutes and biked down a street to cover more area.
When the pair noticed a suspicious car turning around after it spotted a police car, they decided to take a closer look, and sitting there in the passenger seat, was Jocelyn. The car took off and Temar and Chris gave chase on their bikes. After 15 minutes of chasing the vehicle, the abductor seemingly became scared and pushed Jocelyn out of the car. Jocelyn ran to Temar, and the two boys brought her home to be reunited with her family – her forever grateful and elated family. Jocelyn’s Grandmother, Tracey Clay, Embraced and kissed Temar, calling him their hero.
Jocelyn’s mother, Jamiee Smeal, stated “I just think it’s amazing that teenagers at that took it upon themselves to put their lives in danger to make sure my child was okay.” She went on to say that she realizes what could have happened to Jocelyn had Temar and Chris not decided to join the search for a little girl they had never met. “They both played that same part, and nothing that I can say is going to express my gratitude.”
When Temar was asked how he and Chris felt about saving Jocelyn, he stated “It was just out of heart. It wasn’t to get attention or anything. It was just to help somebody in the community, help make sure another little life was okay and make sure her future could be possible. Chris feels the same way. He did that out of heart, he didn’t do it to receive anything.” The public pulled together and raised almost $20,000.00 for college scholarships for Temar and Chris in appreciation of their heroic efforts that saved a little girl’s life.
Not only did the boys rescue Jocelyn, but they were able to provide police with a detailed description of the suspect who was later arrested and identified as 73 year old Harold Leroy Herr. All three, Temar, Chris and Jocelyn, positively identified Herr as the man who had taken Jocelyn. Herr had previously served a long prison term for a similar crime. In 1989, Herr was found guilty of the abduction and rape of a 5 year old girl and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was paroled in 1999, but after he was found to be in possession of photographs of minors, he was sent back to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence. He was released in 2010.
Sadly, the two hours when Jocelyn was missing and with this monster, were traumatic and terrifying. Jocelyn told her family and authorities that as Herr pushed her into his car, he stated “I think I’m going to keep you.”
Herr had threatened to kill her unless she got naked and did what he said, then took her to an unknown location, and sexually assaulted her in the back seat of the car.
Herr plead guilty to kidnapping, two counts of sexual assault and failing to register as a sex offender. When addressing the court, Herr stated “I just hope and pray that it doesn’t have an effect on her mind. It was such a bad thing. She’s such an innocent child. I knew I did have problems, but no one came up with a solution to get help. I thought I could handle it, but I couldn’t.” I have a solution for him – A BULLET. It gets more outrageous – Herr actually said he wanted to get to state prison she could receive better treatment for ‘health problems’. I can’t believe that we offer these monsters better health care in prison than we offer our at risk and impoverished children in need. It’s disgusting.
Jocelyn’s parents spoke in court, addressing this sick excuse for a man and what he had done to their little girl.
“Harold Herr is a coward. He is the definition of evil. I offer no forgiveness to Harold Herr. Instead I choose to forgive myself. Because as a mother I was unable to protect my daughter from the evil that was literally in our own backyard. After today, Harold Herr will forever be irrelevant to our family,” stated Jocelyn’s mother. Jocelyn’s father was holding back tears as he made his statement, “You took something away from my baby girl she’ll never be able to get back. My daughter acts funny around me now. It’s crazy what you did. You’d be better off if you killed yourself.” He also said that he hopes Herr “dies slowly”. Jocelyn’s grandmother also spoke about growing weary of seeing Herr on the news. “Like the plague, you don’t go away.”
Jocelyn herself had the final word. A statement made by Jocelyn was played in court in which the little girl spoke of how scared she was when she was kidnapped. She asked one simple thing of the judge, “I want you to make him stop taking little kids.” Honey – he will never even see another child again, he will die behind bars, a fate FAR too good for this monster.
He was sentenced to 50 to 100 years in prison. Judge Ashworth spoke to Herr as he handed down his sentence. “All I can do is make good on the request of this little girl. That little girl has more strength of character than anything you have. There are other things the father part of me would like to say that the judge part of me refrains from saying.”
This is a bittersweet case – a little girl was abducted and sexually assaulted by a monster. Then that same little girl, was rescued by heroic teenagers before the monster could hurt the little girl further. I am thankful that Jocelyn is ok, and I am sorry that she had to experience this. I am also inspired to see how Temar and Chris so selflessly and without thought for themselves jumped into action to save Jocelyn.
I am grateful that at the end of the day, these two incredible young men, gave Jocelyn the comfort of knowing that there are good people in this world, people that will keep you safe and that will fight for you.
The next time you hear about a search for a missing child in your local area, remember Temar and Chris – and remember that if two 15 year old boys could get involved and save a life – YOU CAN TO.
TEMAR AND CHRIS – YOU ARE TRUE HEROES – THANK YOU!