Earlier this month, 10-year-old Willie Myrick convinced a kidnapper to let him go... by incessantly singing a gospel song. The boy, then nine, was kidnapped from his front yard while he was outside at about 8:30 p.m. taking care of his dog Goldy. Willie noticed a few dollar bills in the front yard and bent to pick them up, Atlanta's WSB-TV reports. As he did so, a stranger pulled him into his car and drove off with him.
The kidnapper had Willie in his car for hours, threatening him and telling him not to make any noise. Despite the man's threats to hurt him, at some point the nine-year-old started singing. The song that popped into his head, "Every Praise" by gospel singer Hezekiah Walker, was probably the perfect mix of conscience-pulling and absolutely obnoxious for his captor.
In either case, it led the man who pulled Willie into his car to kick him back out in another neighborhood miles from home. The song is super catchy, clocking in somewhere on the spectrum between "The Song That Never Ends" (sorry) and your standard dirge.
And the story moved singer Walker so much that he showed up to Willie's 10th birthday celebration at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church to surprise him and sing "Every Praise" with him. The singer said he wanted to give Willie a hug and tell him he loved him, Atlanta's NBC affiliate WXIA reported.
Willie, for his part, sang the song with tears streaming down his cheeks. He's now offering advice to other children and parents on how to stay safe. Weeks later, police are still looking for Willie's captor, who is described as a man in his late 20s with neck-length dreadlocks.
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