Missing 4-year-old girl found alive, police search for suspect
By the CNN Wire Staff
- New: Alisa Maier has been released from the hospital
- Police searching for driver of suspicious car
- Grandfather asks suspect to turn himself in
(CNN) -- Police in Missouri are working with other law enforcement agents in their search for a man suspected of abducting a 4-year-old girl who was later found at a gas station, St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch said Wednesday.
Fitch said Alisa Maier has since been reunited with her family, after she was kidnapped from her home in Louisiana, Missouri, while playing outside with her 6-year old brother on Monday.
"She's been released from the hospital and she's with her family. ...As best I can tell, she's in good shape," Fitch said during a news conference Wednesday.
Authorities issued an Amber Alert Monday after the young girl was abducted. She was found alive Tuesday at about 9:45 p.m. in Fenton, Missouri, about 70 miles from her home in Louisiana, Missouri, police said.
She was discovered near a gas station car wash after witnesses saw her walking away from a car described as having "a very loud muffler,"
Alisa -- who witnesses first thought was a boy -- was taken to a hospital after police interviewed her and identified her as the missing 4-year-old, Fitch explained. He would not comment on whether the child's appearance was altered to make her appear to be a boy, and authorities said doctors would determine whether she had been injured or abused.
The chief told reporters that witnesses described the man driving the car as "a white male, possibly a dark-skinned white male, (with) short dark hair, (in his) early 30's."
"He was in a black or dark-brown, mid-size four-door vehicle, possibly a Ford Escort," he added.
Fitch said witnesses saw Alisa walking around the car wash after hearing the loud muffler on the suspect's vehicle, which was also missing wheel covers on the driver's side.
Alisa's grandfather, Roy Harrison, told CNN affiliate KSDK that Alisa was smiling Wednesday morning. The family is asking t he suspected kidnapper to turn himself in.
"We tell him that he did the first step. That's what I tell everybody, he's done the first step," said Harrison. "He needs to step up and admit he has a problem and turn himself in and be accountable for what he has done."
Alisa was snatched from the front yard of her home in Louisiana, Missouri, on Monday evening while she was playing with her brother, police there said.
Anita McKlevis, who lives across the street from the family, said Alisa's mother was "just beside herself" and tried to pursue the man who abducted the girl.
"She jumped up and went across the street, got into her van and took off," McKlevis told HLN's "Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell."
She said the children were regularly supervised by parents or grandparents while playing outside: "I never seen this little girl without her parents," McKlevis added.
Louisiana is about 80 miles north of St. Louis.