NEW CASTLE, Dela. (FOX11) – Delaware authorities say a young girl has been found safe in Massachusetts after a nearly 24-hour search. Her father is now in custody.
Officials say 43-year-old Michael Trotta assaulted his ex-girlfriend and abducted their daughter Monday evening at the mother’s New Castle, Del., home.
An Amber Alert was issued for Delaware, New Jersey and Ohio for the two, as police believed the girl was “in imminent danger” and that Trotta may have been heading to New York City. A public information officer with New Castle County Police told FOX 11’s Bill Miston Wisconsin authorities were alerted about the case, as Trotta may have friends or family in the state – possibly in the Marinette area.
“Earlier today, FBI agents and local officials were conducting interviews in the local area concerning information that Trotta may be enroute to the Marinette/Menominee area with the child,” said Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve in a press release.
At a press conference, Tuesday morning at New Castle County Police headquarters, the girl’s mother made a tearful plea to the public to help find her missing daughter.
“My heart is broken and I’m just begging anybody who knows where she is, or him, or whoever is helping them, please bring her home,” said Dawn Barkus.
New Castle County Police Chief Col. Elmer Setting said the FBI took Trotta into custody as he walked out of a Spencer, Mass. apartment with his daughter at about 3:30 p.m. local time. Spencer is about an hour’s drive west of Boston. Setting told reporters it appears Trotta has a “family connection” to the area.
“It’s a good day,” said FBI Supervisory Special Agent Jack Webb at the second and likely final press conference of the day. “A little girl is coming home to her mother, and her mother gets to rest soundly tonight and the community can rest.”
The girl’s mother says the day has become that much more special.
“Today is my birthday and I prayed all day to God that I would get her back,” Barkus said, “and he gave me the best birthday present ever.”
Arrangements are being made to fly Barkus to be reunited with her daughter, while Trotta waits to be returned to Delaware to face charges.
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