NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Following hours of tension for a little girl’s parents, a Manhattan babysitter was arrested and hit with multiple charges on Wednesday night.
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Police said that 46-year-old babysitter Beatrice Rios, of Queens, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, unlawful imprisonment and failure to exercise control of a minor after she allegedly disappeared with the 17-month-old on Wednesday morning.
The parents of young Annabelle Ceria had been desperately searching for her before she and Rios came home around 5:40 p.m “in good condition,” according to police.
Melissa and Arthur Ceria are now breathing a sigh of relief with their daughter back in their arms.
“We want to thank the Police Department and we’d also like to thank the media for helping us spread the good news,” Melissa Ceria said.
Earlier, the couple described Rios as a “fantastic woman” who was “very loving, very caring” and said she was “very dedicated to our family.”
CBS 2 cameras were on the scene as Rios was led away by police for questioning. Rios was taken away in police custody while covering her face and refusing to answer questions from reporters.
Rios and the little Annabelle were reported missing after having been last seen by the child’s parents at their Upper East Side residence, located at 105 E. 101 St., on Wednesday at around 9:30 a.m.
Melissa and Arthur Ceria said the two were headed for their weekly play date at 10 a.m., before the little girl’s parents got an alarming notification.
“I got a text message at 10:47 [a.m.] that they had not yet reached their play date, which was just 10 blocks south from here,” Melissa Ceria said.
“We just called each other and we gathered back and we tried to find as much information as possible,” Arthur Ceria added.
Family driver Barry Cintron was in the room when the toddler came home and said Rios acted as though nothing had happened.
“She was totally incoherent,” Cintron said.
Cintron said Rios claimed to be in Central Park on Wednesday.
“A guy and a man got next to her, took her jacket, the stroller, her purse and walked away,” he said, describing Rios’ alleged claims.
Investigators aren’t buying the story. Wednesday night, as Rios was being questioned, the girl in her care was taken by medics to the hospital to be checked out then returned home a short time later.
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