Messina

Found toddler girl in Sicily believed kidnapped and released

Police suspect missing girl didn't spend night in the open

Found toddler girl in Sicily believed kidnapped and released

Messina, April 15 - A toddler found by Sicilian police Monday morning after her mysterious disappearance on Sunday may have been kidnapped and then released by her abductors, investigators now believe. The para-military Carabinieri police do not think that the 23-month old girl reached the place she where was found on her own, nor that she spent the whole night outside. The girl, Noemi, went missing while she was out playing in the town of Mistretta, near Messina, with her older brother, who raised the alarm on Sunday. Police, firefighters, civil protection department volunteers and sniffer dogs searched through the night, helped with special heat-detecting cameras. The girl was found wandering around alone in a street about four kilometres from where she had gone missing. Police had feared she might have taken a fall or been attacked by one of the wild boars that live in the area, but now believe she may have been abducted and freed by captors unnerved by the manhunt.

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