A 2-year-old girl was returned hours after she went missing from her mother’s home but questions still remain regarding where she was and who was involved in her disappearance, police said.
A man, who police say is a neighbor, could be seen handing the girl over to a police officer outside of her home on Ross Street in Philadelphia's East Mount Airy neighborhood around 11 a.m. Wednesday. The man yelled, "she's home," and told NBC10's Dray Clark that he "found the girl."
Police took the girl into the home with a relative and then drove the girl off in a police vehicle.
The toddler first went missing from her home around 2 a.m. Wednesday following a fight between her mother and her mother's ex-boyfriend, investigators said.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
"So the argument gets physical. He takes the child and leaves the location," Philadelphia Police Capt. Sekou Kinebrew said. "And again, he's not the biological, custodial parent. So, the mother, certainly in right standing to say, 'Okay, if I don't want you to have the child, you can't have the child.'"
Police told NBC10 they spoke to the mother's ex-boyfriend for hours over the phone and he eventually made plans to bring the child back to safety.
"We learned that the child was given, presumably by the ex-boyfriend, to a female, who we have not yet identified, who then gave the child to a male neighbor of the mother," Capt. Kinebrew said. "That person gave the child to us."
The girl was taken to the hospital and appears to be okay, police said. Now investigators are working to identify the woman who gave the girl to the mother's neighbor. They're also trying to determine where exactly the girl was between 2 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Police told NBC10 no charges have been filed yet and they are working on identifying and speaking with everyone involved.
"We still don't know where the ex-boyfriend is," Capt. Sekou said. "He has not been located. We certainly would like to speak to him. The child is in good condition so at least we know that. But we're actually working backwards to really unravel what actually happened last night."
Police initially investigated the incident as an abduction but are now calling it a domestic incident.