30 Jul 2012

Police advise 'common sense' after toddler found

10:19 am on 30 July 2012

The police officer who coordinated the search for missing toddler Alyssa Barker says people acting as good samaritans need to use common sense when inviting strangers into their homes.

The 17-month-old was taken from her home near Kaukapakapa in Auckland on Friday and not found until Saturday evening.

Her alleged abductor had been taken in a few days earlier by Alyssa's parents, who took pity on her living on the streets.

Detective Inspector Stan Brown says it's important people continue to be community spirited, but also use their common sense.

He says it's important that people are logical, although it's human nature to help other people and the inquiry highlighted the need for that.

Toddler located

Alyssa Barker and the woman who police say abducted her were found on Saturday evening and the toddler has been returned to her family.

A west Auckland woman had taken the pair into her home in Swanson and, recognising them from a television news bulletin, waited until they were asleep before alerting police.

For most of the day, their host had no idea there was a massive police operation underway to find the pair.

The 17-month-old girl was reunited with her family on Saturday night.

The woman accused of taking her, Skye Mason, 27, will appear in Waitakere District Court on Monday.

Police say Alyssa Barker appears to be well and not suffering any ill effects as a result of her 36-hour absence from her home.

Detective Inspector Brown said the woman who phoned police was very calm and her actions were outstanding.

He says he is delighted by the way the community pulled together to search for the toddler.

Detective Inspector Brown told a news conference on Saturday afternoon that Ms Mason had been homeless until Alyssa's parents took her in over the past couple of days.

She and the toddler disappeared from the house even though the mother was at home with a three-month-old child at the time.

Electronic signs were put up in all North Island main centres asking for reports of sightings.