Missing 3-year-old girl found safe, mother arrested for making false reports

Maaliyah Ferguson was reported to be in the back of a car stolen Friday.

Dayton Police safely locate child.
Dayton Police safely locate child.

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A missing 3-year-old child is safe Friday after Police found the child unharmed at a Dayton day care.

The 3-year-old child was found safe and unharmed at the Youthland Academy Daycare in Dayton late Friday. Police say the mother initially told them the child was sitting in the back seat of her car when it was stolen from a gas station. The mother is now facing multiple charges. She was escorted by Police Friday night from the Police station to the Montgomery County Jail.


The mother of the 3-year-old didn’t have anything left to say as Police escorted her to the Montgomery County Jail. She was arrested after Police say she falsely reported her daughter missing, making for an intense few hours Friday, as family and friends, including the child’s grandma Panitra Drane pleaded for her safe return.

“She has touched a lot of lives at 3-years-old,” Drane said. “And she’s still touching lives so please just bring her back to us immediately.”

According to Drane, the mother initially believed the child was sitting in the back seat at the time the car was stolen from a Shell gas station in the 3400 block of East 3rd Street in Dayton.

“Her mother came to the gas station,” Drane said. “And when she came to the gas station a young boy jumped in the car and took off.”

“Is it just a mistake?,” Dayton Police Sgt. Bill Keller said. “I don’t know. I’ve heard the opposite that people forget they’ve got a child in the car, but I’ve never heard of people who thought they had a child who didn’t have a child.”

After hearing from relatives, Police located the child at the Youthland Academy in Dayton-where she was found safe and unharmed. Police still not sure why the mother told police her daughter was missing.

“There’s all sorts of scenarios,” Sgt. Keller said. “Did she just want us to find ger car faster? Or was she geniunely confused and the detectives will follow-up with that.”

Police transported the from the Daycare to the Police station Friday to sort out what happened. That’s where we spoke with the aunt of the 3-year-old also the mother sister.

“I thought she was missing I don’t know what her mom thought,” the child’s aunt said. “Mom could have knew where she was but I was like what the hell she’s all safe.”

“It’s a happy ending for us,” Sgt. Keller said. “You just never know with this stuff.”

The mother is currently sitting in the Montgomery County Jail. Police tell us she will be charged with inducing panic, making false reports and endangering children.


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