“There were several frantic hours spent playing out different scenarios so we are very grateful for this outcome,” the chief said.
Kelly Tobon told police she let her mother, 43-year-old Blanca Liliana Sanchez of Bergenfield take the girl Friday for an overnight visit, then called her several times on Saturday.
Her mother told her she was at a party on Long Island, Tobon said.
Despite several calls and texts, the child still wasn’t back on Sunday, so Tobon called New Milford police.
Her mother recently moved to Bergenfield, said Tobon, who was “concerned that Sanchez would take the child to Texas or her native Columbia,” Papapietro said.
A Bergenfield police officer, translating for New Milford, called the Spanish-speaking grandmother several times, telling her of “the consequences if the child was not immediately returned,” the chief said.
“Sanchez stated she was in Queens… and would have the child back in an hour,” he said.
Soon after, Tobon received a call from the child’s paternal grandmother, Tracy Regan, in Houston, saying that Sanchez had dropped the girl off with her.
New Milford Officer Brian Clancy contacted his counterparts in Harris County, TX, who checked on the house and confirmed that the girl was OK.
Arrangements were made for Regan to hold onto her until she could be reunited with her mother, Papapietro said.
A hunt is now under way for Sanchez, who when last seen was driving a 2005 Acura with Texas plates. She doesn’t have a driver’s license, Papapietro said.
“Needless to say, all the officers involved breathed a sigh of relief when that call came from Mrs. Regan,” the chief said.
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