A 4-year-old New York City girl who was reported missing by her mother on Wednesday was found safe hours later.
Kaitlyn Daniels was found at a daycare in Harlem around 12 p.m., authorities told PIX11. Her mother reported her missing from a Manhattan subway station around 8:30 a.m. that morning, saying that her daughter disappeared at the Lexington Avenue/59th Street station.
A search was launched and officials eventually found the girl at a home daycare center.
Officials said the woman later told police she forgot she had dropped off her daughter at the daycare.
The mother, who was not identified in reports, was arrested outside her home after police said her story changed multiple times and tried fleeing, reported PIX11 and the New York Daily News.
Police planned to charge the woman with endangering the welfare of a child but ultimately decided not to, reported the Daily News. Instead, officials had her undergo a psychological evaluation.
There were 424,066 missing children reported in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center in 2018, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Under federal law, when a child is reported missing to law enforcement they must be entered into the database. In 2017, there were 464,324 entries.
“This number represents reports of missing children. That means if a child runs away multiple times in a year, each instance would be entered into NCIC separately and counted in the yearly total. Likewise, if an entry is withdrawn and amended or updated, that would also be reflected in the total,” the center noted. The center said it assisted officers and families with cases of more than 25,00 missing children.
In those cases, 92 percent were endangered runaways, 4 percent were family abductions, 3 percent were critically missing young adults between the ages of 17 and 21, one percent were lost, injured, or otherwise missing children, and less than one percent were nonfamily abductions.
The center was founded by John and Revé Walsh and other child advocates in 1984 as a private, non-profit organization to serve as the national clearinghouse and resource center for information about missing and exploited children.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report