Police: Kidnapper stopped at Canadian border after holding CT girl, 16, in trunk

Photo of Peter Yankowski

Authorities said a man is in custody after he allegedly kidnapped a 16-year-old girl in Connecticut, sexually assaulted her and drove to Vermont with her in the trunk of his car.

Vermont State Police said 19-year-old Christopher Jesus Constanzo was taken into custody and is expected to face federal charges after he was stopped at the U.S.-Canada border early Thursday.

Vermont police said Constanzo was driving a Toyota Camry with Connecticut license plates. However, police did not say where Constanzo is from or where and when the girl was abducted.

Vermont police said Constanzo let the girl out of the car’s trunk when he stopped at a convenience store outside of Burlington early Thursday. They were denied entry by Canadian authorities around 7:30 a.m. that morning, Vermont police said.

Constanzo was arrested after the girl told U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents she had been abducted and sexually assaulted, Vermont police said.

Before being stopped at the border, Vermont police believe Constanzo stopped at the Maplefields convenience store along Interstate-89 in Colchester to remove the girl from the trunk and put her in the backseat.

Vermont police are asking anyone to come forward who saw something “out of the ordinary” between 3 and 7 a.m. at either the Champlain Farms or Maplefields convenience stores off Exit 16 in Colchester.

Vermont police said a man believed to be Constanzo was captured on the surveillance video at the Maplefields convenience store around that time.

Vermont state police said they are assisting federal Homeland Security Investigations, and declined to comment further on the case.

Anyone with information regarding the incident can contact Detective Sgt. Angela Baker at the Vermont State Police barracks at 802-524-5993. Tips also may be submitted anonymously online at http://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.