Young mum and toddler missing for five years found alive
A mum and her toddler missing for five years have been found in a home just 30 minutes away from where they were last seen.
Amber Renaye Weber and her daughter Miracle Smith were reported missing on January 31 in 2017, according to police in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
However, the mum, who was 21 at the time, and her then one-year-old daughter hadn’t been seen since December 4, 2016.
Despite chasing numerous tips, the case went cold over the following years, police said.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Marshals announced they had found the mum and daughter, as well as another child Ms Weber has since given birth to, at a property in Bunnlevel — 32km from her last location, WNCN reports.
Marshals said the missing pair were found in a trailer home belonging to the family of the father of Ms Weber’s children.
Federal agents went to the property as part of an investigation into Joe Smith, 59, the grandfather of the mum’s kids, the publication reports.
They found the woman and her kids in the process and arrested Mr Smith for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Four guns were found at the home and seized, police said.
"We just kind of kept at it," Michael East, the US marshal for the eastern district of North Carolina said, WRAL reports.
"Finally someone gave us a piece of information we were able to corroborate and then based on that, we basically obtained some criminal charges on Joe Smith."
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Marshals claim Ms Weber and her child have previously been the victims of physical abuse.
It is unknown what the pair have been through in the last five years, police said.
Ms Weber’s dad told CBS 17 family members had been searching for her for years.
"Our daughter [Ms Weber's sister] called and said she took off in the middle of the night," Monty Weber said.
"Didn’t bring clothes or nothing, just grabbed the baby. We figured somebody came and picked her up."
He said he is glad the children are safe and he is looking forward to reuniting with them.
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