WORCESTER, MA (WCVB/WBZ/CNN) - It's an incredible story of survival.
Authorities say a 7-year-old girl was thrown off a bridge, plunged about 100 feet into a lake, but managed to make her way to a home for help.
At 4:30 a.m. Sunday, a woman who asked to remain nameless was a terrified child's lifeline.
"She was incredibly brave. I have such great admiration for her, like, honestly," said the woman who answered the door when the soaking-wet girl came knocking. "I've never seen a child behave so responsibly and so well. She was incredible, that's all."
The girl who survived a 100-foot fall from a bridge managed to swim to the banks of Lake Quinsigamond and came to shore looking for help.
It all began with a cookout at a house Saturday at the child's grandparents' house and lingered into the wee morning hours.
Prosecutors say close family friend Joshua Hubert had been at that cookout and left in the middle of the night with that 7-year-old, who had been fast asleep on a living room chair.
"(He) drove around with her. At some point, choked her and threw her off a bridge, where she was able to get out of the water and go to a house that she saw with the lights on," prosecutor Cheryl Riddle said.
She was bleeding and badly bruised but alive.
Prosecutors said the marks on her neck were consistent with strangulation.
Hubert, 35, is charged with kidnapping, but additional charges are expected. Prosecutors have not yet spelled out a motive.
"I think it's pretty miraculous that she ... the lake's super deep. The fact she swam all that way is pretty amazing," the woman said.
Hubert is being held without bail pending a hearing.
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