Toddler who went missing reunited with mother

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Updated: 7/16/2013 11:23 pm Published: 7/16/2013 9:02 pm

A toddler found wandering on a dark street last night is home with her mother.

"Look at that smile and she just grabbed me and said hi," said mother Christina Brown.

FOX23 News was there for the reunion and has been following this story since 5 a.m. Tuesday when the 19-month-old went missing from her uncle's home in the 500 block of East 55th Place North.

She was found walking alone in the neighborhood by two women.

"She was very wet and dirty and so we took her inside and I changed her diaper and cleaned her up a bit, and we snapped a picture on my cellphone and walked the area and where asking people if they knew this child," said Angela Brown.

When no one knew who the child was, that's when Brown said she called police.

For nine hours no one knew said they knew the toddler.

Around 7 p.m. the mother was reunited with her daughter after she was in DHS custody pending an investigation.

"It's a breath of fresh air," said Christina Brown.

The last time the mother saw her daughter and her big brown eyes was on the news Tuesday morning.

"What's going on, what happened last night, how did happen? Waiting to get her back was so hard," said Christina Brown.

Monday night around 10:30 p.m. Angela Brown and her neighbor Latoria Simmons found the toddler named Bella barefoot in a dress. She was alone. They had no idea she was just a few blocks from her uncle's home where her mother dropped her off with a babysitter.

It wasn't until about 7 a.m. when the mother who was at her mother's house found out Bella was missing.

"I came out got the paper, was sitting outside having a cup of coffee and all of the sudden my daughter came out screaming out hollering and I said, What is going on?' she said, 'Bella is on the news,'" said Carol Brown.

They turned it on FOX23 News and saw this picture of Bella.

"It was a weird way to find out my granddaughter was missing all night," said Carol Brown.

They believed this was a mistake.

"Everybody fell asleep and it and she was able to get out the door, it wasn't shut tight enough," said Carol Brown.

While DHS investigated, they kept Bella in custody and didn't release her to her mother until 9 p.m. Tuesday night.

"She latched on to me and wouldn't let go," said Christina Brown. "I have her back now."

FOX23 News is working to find out why DHS took the uncle's 2-year-old daughter into custody later in the day.

Child Crisis detectives tell FOX23 News since the child was not injured and there is no evidence of intentional wrongdoing, they do not plan to file charges.

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