A 14-year-old girl in Montclair, California, protected her 4-year-old niece during a home invasion.
On the afternoon of Feb. 28, Savannah Jones was babysitting her niece Zoyee at their home when a man knocked on the door, the Montclair Police Department said in a news release obtained by KTLA.
Savannah looked out the front door peep hole and saw a man she did not recognize standing on the porch.
“While I was standing here I saw the doorknob move,” Savannah told KCAL. So she grabbed Zoyee and went into the master bedroom's bathroom. She then called her mother, Maria Muratalla.
While on the phone with her mother, Savannah heard the front door being kicked in.
"The last bang, I knew that he was in the house," she told KABC.
"I was very scared and not so much for myself, but just Zoyee," Savannah said in an interview with KTLA.
While in the bathroom, Savannah told Zoyee to be quiet.
“I had (my niece) hiding behind the toilet and I locked myself in there,” she told KCAL.
Savannah exchanged texts with her mother while in hiding, a copy of which were obtained by KTLA.
"He is inside mom he's gonna here me," she wrote to her mother.
"K," Maria said in response.
"U call or come home or something Mom," Savannah texted.
"I'm baby," her mother wrote in response.
Maria said that it was gut-wrenching that she could not get to the girls. She contacted a neighbor, who called 911 and went to the house.
Savannah could hear the neighbor calling for her, but remained quiet.
"I wanted to yell back. I wanted to let him know that I was in here, but I wasn't sure that the guy had left, so I didn't say anything," she told KABC.
The suspect ransacked the home, but did not discover Savannah and Zoyee, even though he did go in to the master bedroom adjacent to the bathroom they were hiding in, according to KCAL.
“I kept staring at the door and hoping he wouldn’t try to open it,” Savannah said.
Police and a K-9 officer searched the area but the suspect, described as black, bald, and between 20 to 30 years old, was not found, KTLA reports.
Savannah's sister, Yemeni Barragan, believes she acted heroically.
"She was very smart and brave," she said. "She did everything right."
Savannah and her family are working through what happened, and the teen told KCAL she feels relief, but knowing the intruder is still out there is scary.