LOUISIANA, Mo. (KMOX) – It was a parent’s worst nightmare that had a happy ending.
And tonight the story of little Alisa Maier’s abduction from outside her Louisiana Missouri home in July 2010 will be retold on the Biography Channel, which is launching a new show called “Taken”.
Alisa, then just 4 years old, disappeared while playing outside her home on the 4th of July weekend nearly two years ago.
“She was literally a few feet away from her front door,” recalls FBI Supervisory Special Agent Dan Netemeyer, who will appear on tonight’s program. “Right there in her front yard with her brother nearby.”
Netemeyer believes that kidnapper Paul Smith, who had been a convicted sex offender, felt so much pressure from law enforcement alerts and media coverage of the abduction that he was compelled to drop her off safely outside a carwash in Fenton, Missouri where she was found by Good Samaritans who immediately contacted law enforcement.
The little girl’s hair had been cut short in an apparent effort to disguise her as a boy.
“We had an overwhelming law enforcement response,” Netemeyer remembers. “And of course the media gave us a tremendous amount of coverage on this to really put the pressure on him.”
Smith committed suicide a short time after dropping Alisa off as police closed in on his residence in Lincoln County.
Netemeyer still sees the Maier family from time to time — most recently during the filming of the story that will air tonight.
Alisa’s now 6 years old.
“She’s doing well. I don’t think she as any memory of it,” Netemeyer reports. “She’s young, she’s vibrant and she’s just enjoying life.”
The host of “Taken” on the Biography Channel is Elizabeth Smart, who of course made international headlines when she was found several years after being kidnapped from her home in 2002.
The show air at 9 p.m. St. Louis time.
“Cases like that give you hope,” says Netemeyer. “I don’t know if there’s anything you can do that’s more rewarding than to return a child to their mother’s arms.”