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Missing Indy 2-year-old found safe after hours-long search

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Posted at 3:46 PM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-09 08:38:31-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A 2-year-old girl at the center of an hours-long search in Indianapolis was found safe and returned to family on Thursday.

The toddler was first reported missing Thursday afternoon when family members initially told police she was last seen around 1 p.m. at a home in the 800 block of Rural Street.

A missing child alert was issued by IMPD just after 3:30 p.m. During the course of their investigation, police determined that the last time the child was seen was actually around 4 a.m.

Along with the new information, IMPD requested a Statewide Silver Alert through Indiana State Police which was issued just after 5 p.m. A Silver Alert was issued because the child's disappearance did not meet the criteria for an Amber Alert.

READ | Amber Alert vs. Silver Alert: What's the difference?

At around 6:30 p.m., IMPD released the video below on their social media accounts. According to police, the video was captured by a doorbell camera from a neighbor in the area. They claim the video shows an unknown woman holding a child around 4 a.m. Police say a witness who saw the woman claimed she was holding a child that matched the missing girl's appearance and she was asking "Is this your child?"

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"Based off the information ... of someone in the neighborhood, we were able to find that doorbell Ring camera and we were able to narrow down hey she left at this time. Again that's how important it is for communities to step forward whenever we have a case," IMPD Officer William Young said Friday.

Around 8 p.m. police announced the little girl had been located. At this time no details about what led to her disappearance or how the child left the residence have been released.

On Thursday, Young said the woman who was shown in the video is the same one who brought the child back. Officers believe the child was in the care of the woman in the video throughout the day and that she was not hurt or harmed in any way.

IMPD wants to thank the community for their search efforts and information that helped them with the case.

"I can't say enough about the community for coming forth ... there were several people leaving their homes and bringing their whole families down there to kind of do searches," Young said. "That meant a lot and it shows you that whenever we collaborate — community and law enforcement — how great of a turnout that that was."

The toddler and several other children that were living in the home together were all removed and are now in the custody of Child Protective Services, Young said.

What happened to lead to the little girl being outside is still under investigation. Police are still asking anyone with information on the case to contact them as the investigation continues.

No charges have been filed at this time against any adults at the home — but police have not ruled out the possibility of charges being filed, Young said.

Young says if anyone sees any child that you don't think is in the right place or where they're supposed to be, call 911.