Wake up with a Smile

Join our newsletter

When Sisters Get Kidnapped During Carjacking, 8-Yr-Old Bravely Saves 2-Yr-Old Sister And Herself.

Charley smiles as she stands behind her sister, Autumn, who smiles while looking off in the distance.

One minute, Charley Jorgenson and her sister, Autumn, are sitting in their parents’ SUV, waiting for dad to come back. In the next, a total stranger is driving these kidnapped sisters away. This terrifying moment took place when their dad, Adam Jorgenson, stopped for a car wash at a local Kwik Trip in Wisconsin. With the car still running, Adam stepped away to grab a cloth to dry the car.

He was still within arms length when someone asked if he could give them directions. That’s when he heard the screech of his tires. As Adam called 911, his girls were left to figure out what to do next. This would be difficult for anyone, but this is even more true for an 8- and 2-year-old.

Charley and Autumn smile as they sit in chairs in their home. Charley smiles wide for the camera while Autumn gives a small smile.

Soon after driving away, the man who stole the vehicle told 8-year-old Charley to get out of the car. Although she was scared, she took a moment to figure out if that was a good idea or not.

“Then, he told me to get out,” Charley recalls, “and I was like, ‘What should I do? Should I run and be a scaredy-cat or should I save my sister, too.’ So I said, ‘What about Autumn?'”

Kidnapped Sisters Think Quick to Survive Carjacking

As Charley contemplated whether or not to kick the man, she made an important realization: They had a push-to-start car, and Dad still had the keys.

Adam Jorgenson, Charley, and Autumn pose for a photo outside. Autumn sits in a cart that can be pulled, Charley stands behind her, and Adam squats next to them. They're all smiling.

“He can’t do anything without the key,” Charley explains, giving her the confidence to stay put with her sister in the car.

When the driver asked where the keys were, Charley let him know the truth. With that, the man abandoned the car and kidnapped sisters about a mile away from the Kwik Stop. As soon as she could, Charley grabbed dad’s phone from the front of the car and called Mom.

“Mom, I need you!” Charley says in a frantic voicemail. “I need you! We lost Dad!”

Charley smiles as she stands behind her sister, Autumn, who smiles while looking off in the distance.

From the backseat, Autumn can be heard asking, “Where go Dada?”

Once these kidnapped sisters were finally located, with the help of Adam’s iPhone location, their terrified parents couldn’t have been more relieved.

“I ran as fast as I could out of the back of that cop car to hug them,” Adam says.

Now, the Jorgenson family is using their experience to shine a light on just how quickly something can go wrong. They encourage others with children to take caution so the same thing doesn’t happen to them.

The Jorgenson family pose and smile outside at Disney.

“In the winter, you come outside with your groceries and you have your two little kids,” Adam says. “You want to put them in the warm car and go take your cart back to the corral. That’s not the right order anymore. Your kids might need to be cold for a few more minutes outside with you before you start your car and put them in it. It took two seconds for me to respond to somebody and then to sneak in.”

Plus, Charley’s parents couldn’t be more proud of her and her quick-thinking under such a stressful ordeal.

“I’m just extremely thankful that the police were there quickly and that the kids are safe,” Charley’s mom shares.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here!

Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.