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Alleged kidnapper and teen stopped at Canadian border over lack of COVID-19 tests

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An alleged kidnapper’s plan to cross into Canada with a teenage girl was foiled because neither had proof of a COVID-19 test, officials said.

Christopher Costanzo, 19, was nabbed at the Vermont border with Canada with a 16-year-old Connecticut girl who told authorities he had tied her up with a shoelace and forced her at knifepoint into the trunk of her parents’ car, investigators said.

Costanzo allegedly kidnapped the girl in his hometown of Torrington, Conn. before heading toward Canada, Vermont State Police said in a news release. Costanzo removed the girl from the trunk and placed her in the car before they tried to cross the border, the release said.

The pair were denied entry into Canada at the Vermont border because neither had proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
AP Photo/Wilson Ring

The pair was denied entry into Canada because neither had proof of a negative COVID-19 test, according to the Hartford Courant. The girl later told US Customs and Border Protection that she was being “held against her will,” according to the release.

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The girl claimed Costanzo forced her at knifepoint into the trunk of her parents' car.
The girl claimed Costanzo forced her at knifepoint into the trunk of her parents’ car.
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She told authorities she had voluntarily met Costanzo on Wednesday night but he sexually assaulted her that night, the Courant reported, citing a federal arrest affidavit.

Costanzo, whom she was introduced to through a friend, then forced her into the trunk and removed her at some point overnight to sexually assault her again, the girl claimed, according to the Courant. The girl also claimed Costanzo sent texts from her phone pretending to be her, officials said.

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When they tried to cross into Canada at Highgate Springs in Vermont on Thursday, Costanzo told border security that they were siblings on their way to visit friends, federal officials said, according to the Courant.

A knife was later found on the alleged kidnapper, according to authorities. Costanzo had been under investigation for another sexual assault complaint – and that case also included accusations he had used a knife to threaten the victim, the Courant said.

He was expected to face federal charges, according to the report.

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