Portsmouth man found not competent to stand trial for abduction of little girl

Posted at 3:48 PM, May 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-07 19:24:21-04

Portsmouth, Va. - The Eubank's family is able to breathe a sigh of relief tonight after the youngest daughter was brought safely home after being abducted Wednesday night.

Detectives charged a 30-year-old Leon Johnson with the abduction. The say he took the child from her Turnpike Road apartment.

Now the Commonwealth's Attorney says he is not mentally fit to stand trial.

Police found Johnson with the 6-year-old around 9:26 p.m. as uniformed patrol officers Jeff Barber and Matthew Rios were surveying near the 3700 block of Elliott Avenue. There, they noticed a vehicle parked in the wooded area approximately 100 feet from the roadway.

"It was a light reflecting off the car and the car doesn't belong there. What's somebody doing back there?" Officer Rios says.

Officer Barber and Officer Rios began to investigate the situation, and found a black Nissan Sentra that appeared to be occupied.

As Officer Barber and Officer Rios approached the vehicle, a man and a little girl exited the vehicle.

"I noticed a little girl walking around the car and you get that gut feeling like, oh, this is bad," Officer Barber says.

Police say it was determined that the man was not related to the little girl and she did not know him.

Detectives were contacted and responded to further investigate the situation. Over the course of their investigation, detectives have determined that 30-year-old Leon J. Johnson had convinced the little girl to get into his car in the parking lot area of her home.

"It's like a gut punch. It's really one of those situations where it makes you angry, makes you question everything that's going on but you still got to keep your cool and get the job done as best and professional as possible," says Officer Barber.

Police believe that Johnson coaxed the little girl into going with him by telling her that he was the father of her friend who lived nearby. Family members of the little girl were out searching for her when officers located her.

Police say when they found them, Johnson was wearing a white t-shirt and pajama bottoms... and the girl was wearing Johnson's pants.

The little girl was transported to a local hospital to ensure that she did not suffer any injuries during the period that she was abducted, according to police. The family says they know how lucky they are to have their daughter returned to them safely.

"I was scared, I was scared for her more than I was scared for anybody. I didn’t know what she was thinking or what was going through her mind. I'm glad we found her," said Candace Eubank, the girl's mother.

"I'm pretty sure we stopped the worst," says Officer Barber.

Over the next 90 days he will go through treatments to determine if he can be competent for trial.