YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A 13-year-old Ridgefield girl who ran away from home was riding a subway train in Brooklyn earlier today when a New York City probation officer spotted her, leading to her safe return, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.
Iana Darlington “was riding the rails, trying to get away from everything, when he spotted her,” Ridgefield Police Capt. Richard Besser told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this afternoon, moments after he and a borough detective reunited her with her family.
A group of family members and friend gathered at her mother’s Ridgefield home this afternoon awaiting middle-schooler’s safe return.
“We don’t know what she was doing there, and right now we don’t give a damn why,” Carlos Quiles told CLIFFVIEW PILOT
shortly after police notified the family. “We’re just happy that she’s safe. She’s safe, she’s good, we’re happy.”
Her mother said she last saw Iana at 7:30 Tuesday morning at their Bruce Street home before she left for work in New York City. She never showed up at at the Slocum-Skewes School, where she is a cheerleader, about a 10-minute walk from her mother’s home. School officials contacted the family later that morning.
With no leads to speak of, Ridgefield police were joined by the New Jersey State Police, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the NYPD.
They also issued thousands of electronic missing posters to all police, court and other public agencies in the city — including the probation department.
“It was luck,” Besser told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this afternoon. “He approached her, said he knew who she was, then took her to work with him. We picked her up at the 84th precinct.
“Had he not cared enough to stop, who knows what could have happened?”
“This one had a happy ending, and we’ll all be breathing a sigh of relief,” family friend Chris Sotomayor tweeted this afternoon. “If you’ve got kids, hold them tight & let them know they’re loved.”
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