A judge on Wednesday ordered the man accused of kidnapping an 11-year-old girl in Springfield, Massachusetts last week to be evaluated in a hospital before appearing in court again.
During a hearing at Springfield District Court, the judge ordered Miguel Rodriguez, 24, to be evaluated at Bridgewater State Hospital before his next court appearance on Feb.11.
A court clinician testified that Rodriguez's "thinking is likely interfered with by psychiatric symptoms." The clinician added that jail officials requested Rodriguez be further evaluated at a hospital.
More on the abduction of the 11-year-old girl
The order came nearly a week after Rodruiguez was arrested in connection to the kidnapping of the girl. Rodriguez pleaded not guilty on charges of kidnapping, assault with a dangerous weapon and witness intimidation and was held without bail.
Rodriguez was arrested on the Massachusetts Turnpike with the girl in the backseat of his car. She had been missing for more than six hours when they found her.
At the time of his arrest, officers discovered a knife in the pocket of a car door, state police said. Prosecutors later alleged he used it to threaten the girl.
The search for the girl began after several bystanders took action amid an Amber Alert.
The child hopped off a school bus Wednesday afternoon and was walking on Amherst Street toward her home when a stranger approached her and forced her into his vehicle about 1:26 p.m., according to police.
Neighbors heard the young girl scream for help and called 911. Surveillance footage captured a dark blue Honda Civic fleeing the scene.
After the 911 call, an Amber Alert was issued, activating an emergency alert system that got the word out about the abduction statewide.
Court documents later revealed that Rodriquez has a troubling past. Some of his family members had filed restraining orders against him.
One relative alleged the suspect forced her to engage in a sex act under threat and that he had touched her inappropriately years before.
In a separate document, Rodriguez’s mother said his mental problem of being aggressive made it “impossible” to live with him. The statement said his mother and brother feared the suspect.
Family members of the suspect told Telemundo Nueva Inglaterra that Rodriguez has schizophrenia and sometimes does not take his medication.