A search for a missing six-year-old girl came to a puzzling but positive end after she was found more than 15 kilometres from her home hours after she disappeared, Toronto police said Tuesday.
Const. David Hopkinson said police are actively investigating how the girl came to be found so far from the east-Toronto apartment building where she was last seen in bed at 1 a.m.
Police said the pyjama-clad child went missing in the middle of the night, some time in the nearly seven-hour window between when she was last seen and when police were summoned to the apartment where she was staying with a family member.
We will want to discover how it was that she made it this far, how this all happened.
Hopkinson did not provide any details about where the girl was found or what led police to her location, but said the case is still active.
"Our investigation is not over,'' he said. "We will want to discover how it was that she made it this far, how this all happened.''
Hopkinson said the girl is believed to be fine, though will likely receive a medical exam before being reunited with her family members.
The search for the girl, which began Tuesday morning with an initial focus on the building where she was last seen, escalated throughout the day to a ``level three.'' Hopkinson said the operation was the highest level search available to the force under the circumstances, which did not meet the criteria for an Amber Alert.
Officers and police dogs began by combing the area around the apartment building on Gilder Drive, near Midland Avenue and Eglinton Avenue East, where the girl was last seen.
Concern ran high
As police expanded their search area and deployed extra resources, community members also joined the effort by printing and distributing flyers showing the girl's face.
Hopkinson said the closest major landmark to the area where the girl was eventually found is the Allen Expressway, a major city road located at least 15 kilometres west of the original search scene and running several kilometres north.
Concern for the girl ran high, as police said they believed she had gone missing without a coat or shoes.