A 9-year-old girl is getting credit for her quick thinking and for speaking up after managing to escape from her alleged kidnapper last week.
Calysta Cordova was reported missing Thursday afternoon by her mother when she didn't come home from school. Authorities believed she was abducted on her walk home and issued an Amber Alert.
"My baby girl always walks through my door at 3:21 p.m. I noticed something was wrong, when she was nine minutes late...I called everyone, I panicked," said Steven Ryno, Calysta's stepfather.
"We must find her, that was the main thing that was kicking through our head. It is getting late, it is getting dark, it is getting cold, and I know my baby is hungry," said Ryno, recounting the incident.
Calysta was found safe Friday at the Circle K convenience store in Colorado Springs, according to ABC News' Denver affiliate KMGH. Colorado Springs police spokeswoman Barbara Miller told KMGH that authorities believe Calysta was in a car with 29-year-old suspect Jose Garcia when the car broke down.
A passerby picked them up and drove them to the Circle K convenience store, police said. There, Calysta ran into the store and asked for a phone, saying she wanted to call her uncle. Instead, she called 911.
When asked how she found the strength to do what she did, Calysta said in an exclusive interview with "Good Morning America," that she "got my fight from Daddy."
Calysta said her father taught her "to stand up for myself."
"She had two black eyes, bruises on her cheek," witness Efrin Villapondo told KMGH. "She was in bad shape. The bruise on her face was enormous."
When Garcia entered the store, Calysta defiantly refused to go anywhere with him, yelling, "I'm not going anywhere with you. I'm waiting for my mom," according to police.
"She looked at me, pointed into my eyes and just said, 'I ain't going nowhere. I'm waiting right here for my momma. I looked at the guy, he looked at me, into my eyes, spun around and just high-tailed it out of there," said Efrin Villapando, a witness.
Garcia took off on foot before police arrived. Calysta was transported to Memorial Hospital to be treated for her injuries.
Garcia was found at a bus stop in downtown Colorado Springs, about 7.5 miles south of the convenience store where they had been dropped off.
KMGH was on-scene when Calysta's mother Stephanie Cordova discovered her daughter had been found safe. As the family shrieked and cried with joy, Cordova took a moment to thank all the family's supporters.
"Thank God. Thank you for everybody who watched, who kept an eye out for my daughter and brought her home," Cordova said, crying. "Thank you for your kindness, for putting yourselves in our shoes and bringing my daughter home."