: A four-year-old girl who was abducted by an unidentified gang from a school at Kadukutty, near Chalakudy, on Friday morning was found at Thiruvilwamala in the afternoon.

The girl was found in front of St. George Church, Oralassery, near Thiruvilwamala, at 3 p.m. The vicar of the church noticed her and on enquiring, the girl said she had lost her way. The church authorities informed the Pazhayannur police station. The police called up the girl’s father and the school authorities and confirmed her identity.

The police said the girl was kidnapped by a gang and taken away in a car at 9.30 a.m. from the school compound. The gang escaped before the students could alert the school authorities.

The police started investigation as soon as the authorities lodged a complaint at the Koratty police station. All border police stations were alerted and a vehicle search was launched across the State. The police said the gang called up the girl’s father, a businessman, on his mobile about half-an-hour after the abduction and demanded ransom of Rs.15 lakh to release her.

They called him again at 11.45 a.m. and reduced the amount to Rs. 7 lakh. The caller said he was from Palakkad and had got the phone number from the school identity card of the girl..

According to the police, the calls were made from Kodakara and Perambra. Later, the mobile phone was found switched off.