NEWS
09/16/2018 23:43 EDT | Updated 09/17/2018 16:21 EDT

RCMP Still Looking For Suspect In Car Theft That Led To Sask. Amber Alert

The girl was reunited with her family and is receiving medical care.

NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. — A Saskatchewan mother says words cannot describe the relief she feels after being reunited with her daughter who police say was taken when she was left in the back of a running SUV.

An Amber Alert was issued Sunday night after police say the six-year-old was left in the back of her parents' running Mercedes and it was stolen from outside a strip mall in North Battleford.

The child, who is autistic, epileptic and non-verbal, was found almost 14 hours later still inside the SUV, which had been left about two kilometres from where it had been taken and was noticed by some workers who called 911.

"Words cannot express our emotions right now,'' mother Alison O'Keeffe said in a Facebook post. "Emma is safe at home sleeping soundly, peacefully, surrounded by all the love in the world.''

RCMP Cpl. Rob King said officers have yet to identify any suspects in the car theft.

"We don't know what happened from when the car was taken until when the car was found,'' King said.

Emma needs medication to control her condition. She was found conscious and taken to hospital where she was checked out and then released.

King said it took a while to find the vehicle partly because it was tucked away in bushes.

He said the focus of the investigation remains on who was responsible for taking the vehicle and not why the child was left alone in a running car in the first place.

"When you have to look at the whole thing, someone took a vehicle that was not theirs with the child in the back seat and then was responsible for the child being left overnight,'' King said.

O'Keeffe thanked everyone who looked for her daughter along with those who sent messages of support. She said that she and her husband Patrick are beyond grateful.

"Our hearts are full again,'' she said.

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