Nov 19 (Reuters) – An eight-day-old girl who went missing this week after her mother was shot dead in Kansas has been discovered unharmed by law enforcement officials hundreds of miles away in Texas, police said on Saturday.
Sophia Gonzales was found in a Dallas residence by local police officers at around 4:30 a.m. local time on Saturday after a tactical unit executed a search warrant on the property, the Wichita Police Department and City of Wichita said in a statement.
“Baby Sophia has been located and is safe! Thank you to all investigators for their hard work in this case, and thank you to the community for all of their help as well,” Wichita police said in another statement posted on social media.
Dallas Police Department’s Child Exploitation Unit was asked to assist in the search by the FBI’s Kansas office on Saturday, Dallas police said in a statement, and began surveillance on the residence where Gonzales was found.
The search for Gonzales began on Thursday when her mother Laura Abarca-Nogueda, 27, was found shot dead in their home. The discovery was made by the woman’s boyfriend, who is also the father of the infant girl.
He immediately called emergency 911 for help and told responding officers that the couple’s infant daughter was missing from the home.
Police searched the premises and immediate vicinity to no avail. The boyfriend is not a suspect in the killing or in the disappearance of the child, Wichita police said.
Two people were taken into custody at the residence in Dallas where the baby was found, Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay told a news conference on Saturday. Ramsay declined to provide any further information on the suspects.
Dallas police said that “the suspect was arrested,” and said their figure was correct when asked for a clarification on the number of suspects arrested.
The Wichita Police Department did not immediately respond to request for further comment.
The infant was in protective custody and would be reunited with her family, Ramsay said.
Dallas is around 365 miles (588 km) south of Wichita, the largest city in Kansas. Wichita police had spelled the infant’s name Sofia in previous statements. (Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by Alistair Bell)