Biological Mother Facing Custodial Interference, Other Charges

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 5-year-old girl who had been missing from the Bronx has been found safe, and now her mother is facing charges.

Police canceled an AMBER Alert that was issued for Mia Olarte after police said she was taken by her biological mother, who does not have custody of the child.

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The little girl was found in Corona, Queens Tuesday morning and was taken to Elmhurst Hospital for an evaluation. Police said her mother, 48-year-old Dora Olarte, was also located.

Missing Bronx Girl

Mia Olarte (credit: Handout)

Mia was last seen around 4:50 p.m. Monday with her mother during a supervised visit at a foster care center on Brown Place in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx, police said.

Dora Olarte then left the location with her daughter, who currently lives with a foster family, police said.

Detectives said the little girl has Down Syndrome and requires daily thyroid medication. Her mother has a history of mental health issues and has faced allegations of abuse in the past, authorities said.

The girl’s foster mother, Johanny Ramyrez, said she is grateful and relieved the child was found safe, CBS2’s Ilana Gold reported.

She said she started crying when she heard the good news and the first thing she was going to do when she’s reunited with Mia was kiss her.

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As CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported, the two were reunited around 3 p.m., nearly 24 hours after the ordeal began.

Mia is now back at home with her foster family, everyone grateful to be together again.

“(What’s it like having Mia home?) I feel excellent. Mia is safe, thank you lord,” said Ramyrez.

“My heart is racing right now. I can’t wait to go up there and give her a big old hug,” said sister Emelyn Reyes.

Police said Dora Olarte is chaged with custodial interference, acting in a manner injurious to a child, and enticement of an individual under 16 by a relative.

Foster care agency, The New York Foundling, issued a statement earlier saying it was working “very closely” with police on the case.

“The safety of our children has always been our number one priority,” the agency said.

The Administration for Children’s Services said it was relieved over Mia’s safe return.

“We have jointly begun to examine the incident to determine what, if any, breakdown occurred in our visitation protocols and what additional steps we can take to prevent this from happening in the future,” ACS said in a statement.

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The investigation is ongoing.