Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Mother reunites with missing daughter

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It wasn't a fairy-tale ending but the tears shed by a Winnipeg mother on Thursday were those of joy.

Only minutes before a group of the mother's family and friends were to begin a search of the West End for her 12-year-old daughter, who had been missing for more than a week, city police announced she had been located.

"We found her," said the visibly relieved mother when she arrived at a park where the search for her daughter was to begin. "She's not hurt. I'm just really happy she's alive and well."

The mother said police found the girl in a hotel room with a man known to police. He was arrested. The names of people involved can't be reported because the child remains in the care of Child and Family Services.

The mother said her daughter refused to look at her when the two were reunited Thursday morning.

"She's in a shell right now," the mother said. "She's not listening to anybody. But we'll work on it. I'm just going to take whatever help I can get to enable her to feel like herself again.

"She's lost a lot of weight," the mother added. "She was in the same clothes as when she left. She was probably refusing to come back (home) because she knows how much trouble she's in."

The mother had launched a public search for her daughter using social media.

She said she was compelled to take matters into her own hands because of what she called the lack of information from local police. She said while police called her every morning, they never told her where they were searching or who they might suspect was involved.

"That's what made it so hard for me, to sit at home and wait."

Still, the mother was grateful her daughter was found by the Winnipeg Police Service's missing persons unit. She was also thankful for the friends and family members who were prepared to search.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 12, 2013 B2

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