Toddler Reported Missing In Maine Found Safe In Stoneham

STONEHAM (CBS) – A toddler who was reportedly abducted by her grandmother in Maine has been located in Stoneham.

Melanie Ester Wever and the missing child, Hazel Richards, were found at a Mobil Gas Station in Stoneham. State Police say authorities were tracking Wever’s cell phone.

The search started when Hazel’s mother flew from Indiana to Maine to get the child and reported her missing from North Yarmouth on Wednesday.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s office says Wever, who is 49-years-old, was contacted by phone and told to return the child but she did not. At the time, authorities said they planned to pursue kidnapping charges against her.

WBZ-TV’s Lauren Leamanczyk spoke with Hazel’s father, James Richards, Thursday night, and he said the situation is all a big misunderstanding. James says Melanie was bringing Hazel to meet him at Logan Airport and he was planning to drive them both home to Indiana.

The family lives in Indiana, but James says he gave Wever permission to take Hazel to visit a relative in Maine.

Hazel, who is 18-months-old, is safe and her grandmother was taken to the State Police Barracks in Medford for questioning.

The grandmother was not charged and Hazel was released to the custody of her father, James.

Police continue to investigate the incident.


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