A kidnapped child in Pensacola, Florida, is once again safe after an intense search, and video footage shows the moment she is reunited with her family.
On Monday afternoon, the five-year-old was sitting inside her mother’s Jeep when an individual jumped into the driver’s seat and took off, WEAR reported.
Officials issued an AMBER Alert, which is a system that “began in 1996 when Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasters teamed with local police to develop an early warning system to help find abducted children,” per its website:
AMBER stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response and was created as a legacy to 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, TX, and then brutally murdered. Other states and communities soon set up their own AMBER plans as the idea was adopted across the nation.
The suspect driving the car was considered to be armed, and officials believe the individual was on the way to Atlanta, Georgia.
The search concluded when Escambia County Sheriff’s Deputies located the stolen Jeep parked outside a bar in Pensacola. The child was found sitting in the vehicle when they approached.
Cameras were rolling when news spread that the child had been found. Moments later, Sheriff Chip Simmons was seen carrying the little girl, identified as Isobel Battese, to the waiting arms of her relieved stepmom.
He said that when the child was found, she appeared happy and chatted about going to kindergarten while also voicing concern about her mother’s vehicle.
“She’s quite the little girl,” he added.
The child’s mother apparently left her in the Jeep to run inside their house that afternoon when the incident occurred.
“The suspect, Miracle Armstrong, remains at large. If you have any information on her whereabouts, please call Crime Stoppers at 850-433-STOP or the ECSO at 850-436-9620. We have provided her photo below,” the sheriff’s office announced in a social media post Tuesday:
Five-Year-Old Found Safe and Reunited with Mother – Suspect Still WantedYesterday, at approximately 4 p.m., Escambia…
While the sheriff was transporting the child to reunite her with her family, Simmons said, “She was giving me directions to where her bus stop is and to where her home is. Obviously, one of the best car rides I’ve had in my law enforcement career.”
The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said its mission is to “improve the quality of life and protect the property of all individuals in Escambia County by providing responsible, effective and efficient law enforcement services to prevent crime and enforce the law with integrity and fairness.”