Charges laid after girl, 6, found 15 kilometres away from Scarborough home
Chris Fox And Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, April 10, 2018 9:16AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 11, 2018 2:14PM EDT
Toronto police have laid charges against two women after a six-year-old girl who was last seen by her mother in Scarborough early Tuesday morning made her way to a midtown intersection 15 kilometres away.
The young girl was last seen at a building at 31 Gilder Drive near Eglinton and Midland avenues.
Const. David Hopkinson says that she was put to bed by her guardian at around 1 a.m. and was subsequently reported missing at around 7:40 a.m. after the guardian woke up and was unable to find her.
Officers arrived at the scene eight minutes later and began to search. Supt. Mark Barkley said the investigation revealed that the girl was “noticed” by other residents of the building at about 5 a.m.
The gap in time between reported sightings and when police were called is now part of the ongoing investigation.
Barkley said the girl was safely found outside and alone, in the area of Bathurst Street and Eglinton Avenue at 12:55 p.m. Williamson approached a bystander in the area, who then contacted police.
“The question becomes where did she go, and why,” Barkley said.
It is not known how she travelled there. By foot, it would have taken a grown adult more than three hours to cover that distance.
Barkley said officers were interviewing the girl on Tuesday afternoon. He said she has no prior history of running away from home.
Contrary to what officers told media outlets earlier on Tuesday, Barkley said the girl was wearing a coat and a hat when she was located, not pajamas as was reported earlier.
She was assessed by paramedics at the scene before being taken by police for an interview. Barkley said she is cooperating with officers.
Barkley said investigators spotted the girl in security camera footage from her building recorded this morning, but would not elaborate on what was seen.
“At this time we are not looking for any persons in relation to her absence from 31 Gilder Avenue,” he said.
Police say they contacted the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto to notify them of the incident.
“They will be consulted,” Barkley said.
Officers expect to interview the young girl’s mother, who lives at Gilder Avenue as well as her father, who they say lives elsewhere.
Barkley said they have not ruled out any theory at this point, but say there is no reason to suspect a public safety threat at this point.
“We need to know exactly what happened and there are a few people who have the ability to tell us what happened, so we’ll continue to work with them.”
On Tuesday evening, police said they have charged two women in connection with this case but cannot release their names in an effort to protect the identity of the child.
One woman was charged with public mischief and another woman has been charged with obstructing a peace officer. The relationship between the child and the two women is not known.
Both women are scheduled to appear in court at a later date, officers said.