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HEROES: Elmwood Park Firefighters Find Missing Girl, 11

Janiah Townes
Janiah Townes Photo Credit: ELMWOOD PARK PD

FOUND! A search for a missing 11-year-old Elmwood Park girl ended Thursday afternoon when a trio of volunteer firefighters found her safe and sound in a shopping center sandwich shop.

Police pinged Janiah Townes's cellphone to the Elmwood Park Shopping Center on Broadway around 3:30 p.m., then "flooded the area with volunteer firefighters and officers," Police Chief Michael Foligno said.

A short time later, Firefighters Alexian Cruz, Mohammed Makanast and Scott Karcz found little Janiah at the Blimpie's -- a little over two hours after she was reported missing. 

"It was an all-hands-on-deck move, as always, when someone goes missing," Foligno said. "Our firefighters were quick to help out."

Janiah's father reported her missing after he went to pick her up at Memorial Middle School on Gilbert Avenue shortly before 1:30 p.m. and was told she never showed up Thursday, Foligno said.

Several agencies joined borough responders in the search -- among them, the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, NJ Transit Police and police departments from surrounding towns, the chief said. 

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