'The relief is indescribable': Amber Alert cancelled as missing Sask. girl found
Published Monday, September 17, 2018 8:29AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, September 17, 2018 3:55PM EDT
A six-year-old Saskatchewan girl whose overnight disappearance prompted an Amber Alert has been released from hospital and returned to her parents.
“Words cannot express our emotions right now,” the child’s mother said in a Facebook post Monday afternoon. “(Our daughter) is safe at home sleeping soundly, peacefully, surrounded by all the love in the world. The relief is indescribable.”
The girl had last been seen around 5 p.m. Sunday, in the backseat of an SUV that was parked with its engine running outside a strip mall in North Battleford, Sask.
According to the RCMP, the SUV was stolen while one of the girl’s parents was inside a business in the strip mall. Police stressed that the case was not considered a parental abduction.
Police said Monday that the girl had been found safe in North Battleford around 6:45 a.m. local time, nearly 14 hours after the SUV was stolen. She was still in the vehicle, which had been abandoned in a bush area about two kilometres away from the strip mall.
RCMP Cpl. Rob King told reporters he had no information on how long the vehicle had been in the bush area or who had left it there.
“We don’t have any suspects at this time,” he said. “We don't know what happened from when the car was taken until when the car was found."
Police have said that they believe the vehicle was stolen by somebody who may not have realized that there was a child in the backseat.
The girl, who was conscious when she was found, was taken to hospital for examination and to be reunited with her family. She was released from hospital later in the day.
The girl’s parents had issued a tearful plea for her return Monday morning, saying they were concerned their daughter could be killed or seriously injured if she was not returned or taken to a hospital. The girl has epilepsy and autism and requires medication twice a day.
“We need to thank every single person that was out looking for her, sending messages of love and prayer and every emergency member that dedicated many hours to help find (her),” the mother added on Facebook. “The whole community and all of Canada came to her rescue. We are beyond grateful. We have an amazing support system here and (my partner) and I appreciate every single one of you. Our hearts are full again.”
Asked if the parents could face charges in connection with the case, King said that was “not the focus at all right now” for investigators.
“Today, the focus was finding her and getting her back. The focus now shifts to who is responsible for taking the vehicle in the first place,” he said.
With files from CTV Saskatoon and The Canadian Press