5-year-old missing for hours found safe, reunited with mom

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Yetta Gibson

Posted on May 6, 2013 at 6:35 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 8 at 4:26 PM

Map: Near McDowell and Scottsdale roads

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A little girl who had been missing for hours overnight was reunited with her mother Monday morning.

While the 5-year-old was not hurt, it's a story that could have had a very different, potentially tragic ending.

The little girl's mother reported her missing at 8:20 p.m. Sunday. She had last been seen about 20 minutes earlier playing with friends at Copper Rock Condominiums, which is in the neighborhood southwest of McDowell and Scottsdale roads.

According to police, a man, identified by Scottsdale police as 42-year-old Mario Rivera Salgado, had taken the child without permission. Detectives found her unharmed at a home in Phoenix early Monday morning, more than nine hours after her mom first called police.

Though the child and her mother are Phoenix residents they were at the apartment complex visiting a friend of the mother when the child went outside to play with other children in the complex.

It is believed that the suspect lured the child to his vehicle in the parking lot.

Though previously stated that the suspect was known to the victim and her mother, it was as someone they had seen previously in the complex, not as a family friend.

"Nobody saw it happen and could identify that she was with this individual," said Chris Fackovec, a resident at Copper Rock.

Fackovec went on to say that parents at the complex have been "very lax in supervision" of their children, so much so that the management is working to address the issue and remind parents that kids need to be supervised.

"I think that the onus is upon parents to really look after their children," Fackovec said. "As a parent, you need to be aware of your children, where they are, 24-seven, every second of the day."

"It's absolutely amazing that this girl was found unhurt," he continued. "There are a lot of individual who are on the streets in Phoenix, who definitely have, you know, perverted … intentions with children."

Investigators say Salgado could face kidnapping charges. Additional charges reportedly are being considered, as well.

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