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November 19 • 08:56 AM
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'Missing' girl was at home


Neighbors search after Amber alert system activated throughout Imlay



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July 21, 2010
IMLAY CITY — A four-year-old girl reported missing Sunday (July 18) morning, was found a half-hour later playing in her home on Fifth Street.

Police Lt. Roger Czap said the girl's mother (Eva Rios) called 911 at around 11:35 a.m. to report her daughter missing. Lapeer County Central Dispatch immediately issued an "Amber alert" for the missing child.

Czap said information about the girl's disappearance spread quickly, leading to independent searches by the child's neighbors and other residents.

"The mother reported that she had looked all through the house and couldn't find her anywhere," said Czap, "so she called 911."

Within 25 minutes of the emergency call, the girl was discovered in her own home by Imlay City Police Officer Kevin Homer.

"Officer Homer decided to conduct his own search inside the house," Czap said. "He found her behind a tipped-up mattress under a hutch. It was kind-of like a tent.

"He (Homer) said she was in there with some of her dollies. She was apparently just playing."

In addition to Imlay City Police, Almont police and Lapeer County Sheriff's deputies assisted with the search.

Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.
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