Missing Missouri toddler found safe in Iowa - KMOV.com

Missing Missouri toddler found safe in Iowa

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A 2-year-old girl who was taken from her western Missouri home Thursday morning by a woman claiming to a child welfare worker was found safe about nine hours later in Iowa, authorities said.  

Two people were with Syah D. Duffey when Iowa State Highway Patrol officers stopped a vehicle about 5:45 p.m. near the Des Moines suburb of Mitchellville, the Cass County Sheriff's Department said.  

No other information about the stop or the people with the girl was immediately released. Mitchellville is about 210 miles northeast of the Cass County town of East Lynne, where Syah lives with her mother.  

Authorities had issued an Amber Alert for Syah around 2:30 p.m., six hours after the woman came to the home in East Lynne, about 35 miles south of Kansas City, and drove away with the child in a dirty white van with Iowa license plates.  

Syah's grandmother, Karrie Ratkewicz, told local media outlets that the family believed the woman has ties to the girl's father, who hasn't met the child but talks to her on the telephone frequently. Ratkewicz said the girl's father lives in Iowa.  

Cass County sheriff's Cpl. Kevin Tieman said the case was being treated as a stranger abduction because the woman, who claimed to be an Iowa child welfare worker, wasn't known to anyone in Syah's family.  

Tieman said Syah's mother didn't immediately contact authorities because she was trying to verify with family members why the girl was taken.  

"We now know it was not any legitimate reason the child would have been taken, but the mother wasn't able to confirm that until 90 minutes later," Tieman said.   

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

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