Home News 3-year-old girl found safe, reunited with father after being abducted

3-year-old girl found safe, reunited with father after being abducted

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The 3-year-old girl who was abducted outside her Apopka home early Monday was found safe about five hours later on Interstate 10 in the Florida Panhandle, authorities said.

Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Jessie Sunday spotted a black Honda Accord traveling westbound on I-10 in Leon County that matched the AMBER alert for Madeline Mejia and pulled it over with assistance from three other troopers, FHP spokeswoman Lt. Kim Montes said. She said two suspects were taken into custody and Madeline was found unharmed.

Madeline was reunited with her father Monday afternoon, Apopka Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Walsh said.

APD is actively investigating the incident, Walsh said.

The suspects were not identified. Authorities have not revealed a motive for the kidnapping or said whether her abductors had any prior connection to the girl or her family.

Madeline was outside with her father about 6 a.m. Monday in the 600 block of East Orange Street in Apopka when he ran inside to grab his keys, Walsh said. When he came back out, Madeline was screaming as a man took her into a black Honda sedan with a temporary Texas license plate.

Madeline’s father jumped in his vehicle to chase the black Honda, pursuing it until he lost it in Marion County on Interstate 75, Walsh said. Her father did not have his cell phone while chasing the vehicle, but called authorities after he lost the vehicle.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement had issued an AMBER alert Monday morning about 9:30 a.m., but cancelled it soon after FHP found the vehicle in the Panhandle about 11 a.m.

gtoohey@orlandosentinel.com
This story originally appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com

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