NEW CASTLE, Del. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Delaware girl who was allegedly kidnapped by her father was found safe Tuesday afternoon, while her father was taken into police custody.
New Jersey State Police announced Tuesday afternoon that Elinor Trotta, 3, had been recovered by police in Massachusetts. She was safe in police hands, New Jersey State Police said.
Her father — Michael Trotta, 43 – was taken into custody, state police said.
A multi-state AMBER Alert had been issued for Elinor, and police earlier believed she was “in imminent danger.”
“As with all incidents involving a child, we are deeply concerned for her safety and we are doing everything humanly possible to bring her back,” New Castle County Chief of Police Col. Elmer Setting said.
New Castle County, Delaware Police said the girl’s mother called police Monday night to report that her ex-boyfriend had just come to her home, assaulted her and took Elinor.
Originally, it was believed that Trotta fled in a 1989 gray Mazda, but police said that vehicle has since been recovered. They said they are now looking for a bright red SUV, possibly a Ford Explorer.
Police said Trotta had last been seen in the area of a rest stop in Mount Laurel, New Jersey before he was found, and said Trotta was considered armed and dangerous.
Holding back tears during a news conference Tuesday morning, Elinor’s mother had made an emotional plea for help in finding her daughter.
“She doesn’t have any clothes with her or her toys or anything that she likes” Dawn Barkus said. “My heart is broken and I’m just begging anybody who knows where she is or him or whoever is helping him, please bring her home.”
Trotta had warrants for his arrest in connection with Monday’s incident, including reckless endangering and carjacking, police said.
He also had warrants for his arrest stemming from a previous assault on Feb. 15 involving Elinor’s mother, police said.
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