Woman prevents girl’s kidnapping by pretending to be potential victim’s mother

A woman dropping her child off at a Santa Ana, California, middle school is credited with preventing the kidnapping of a young girl walking to school, according to news outlets.

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Amy Martinez was on her way to school Wednesday morning when a strange woman approached her and forced her to begin walking away with her, according to KTLA-TV.

"She just came up to me and went like this," the girl explained to KTLA as she described the woman grabbing her in a hug. “And then she started walking with me away.”

The girl screamed out for help and that’s when a good Samaritan, who wanted to remain anonymous, saw what was happening and quickly jumped into action.

She pretended to be the girl’s mother and demanded the woman release her. 

"I was basically yelling, 'Let her go,' so as soon as my voice changed, she let her go and Amy walked into my car," the woman said, according to KTRK-TV.

She took the frightened girl to school and called police.

A mugshot of the suspect, Claudia Hernandez Diaz, in the attempted kidnapping of a 12-year-old girl in Santa Ana, Calif., Wednesday morning. (Orange County Sheriff’s Office)

The suspect, identified as Claudia Hernandez Diaz, was arrested and later described as homeless by authorities.

>> Related: Father intentionally killed 5-year-old son, police say

Amy Martinez said the woman who saved her is a “hero.”

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