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Missing 1-year-old found safe in New York City, father charged

Ziona Amaya, who had last been seen with her father Cornelius Smith, was found by Montgomery County Police.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — A missing 1-year-old girl was found by Montgomery County detectives in New York City. Ziona Amaya, last seen with her father Cornelius Smith, was located unharmed, and Smith was taken into custody. He has been charged with kidnapping and hiding a child by relocation out of state.

According to a release from Montgomery County Police, the toddler and her father were recognized by a passenger on the subway, who said she had seen a police news release shared on Facebook by Black and Missing, Inc; the post had been shared more than 1,400 times. Police said the passenger took a photo and followed the instructions for contacting them. 

"With assistance from the New York City Police Department, Smith and Ziona were located, and Smith has been taken into custody," Montgomery County Police said. "Ziona is reported to be in good health and unharmed."

Ziona and her mother, Sandy Barrientos, were reported missing on Nov. 28. Ziona had last been seen with Smith. Barrientos was also found safe. 

Credit: Montgomery County Police
Ziona Amaya was last seen with her father, Cornelius Smith

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