A nine-year-old girl who was found lost and alone on a Toronto bus overnight was too scared to ask for help because English is her second language, Toronto police say.

The child had recently moved to Canada with her father, who did not call 911 but had been searching for his daughter for hours, police said.

"It was a bit of a challenge getting some information, but we are currently speaking with the child and working with Children's Aid to try to get some answers as to what led to this," Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook told CTV Toronto.

Officials say the little girl was out for the afternoon and was supposed to meet her father at home. But she became confused during her trip and spent several hours by herself on the TTC. Police eventually found her on a bus around 3:20 a.m. on Tuesday at Yonge and Adelaide Streets after a passenger alerted the driver, who then called police.

The child was then brought to a downtown police division where officers sat with the girl for hours, police said. That’s when they learned her age, her living situation and details of how she said she got lost.

Police spoke with the girl’s father late Tuesday morning. Police said he had been looking for his daughter for hours but did not call 911 because he moved to Canada from a country where it’s not customary to ask police for such help.

The father said he moved to Canada with his daughter in hopes of giving her a better life, police said.

The girl is currently in the care of the Children’s Aid Society. The case is being investigated by the Toronto Police 23 Division Youth Bureau.

TTC officials said there are still several unknowns in the case.

"What we don't know at the TTC is when the child may have boarded the bus, did they board with somebody else, where did they board, at what point along the route, at what time?" said TTC spokesperson Brad Ross.

With a report from CTV Toronto’s Tamara Cherry