Police find Calif. girl abducted nearly 7 years ago in Phoenix home

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX - The Missing Persons Unit at the Phoenix Police Department found a 7-year old girl who was abducted from the town of Norwalk, Calif. six years ago.

The girl, Amber Nicklas, was found safe Wednesday night in a home in the 2500 block of north 16th Street near Thomas Road.

Police say an adult woman at the house was trying to hide the child in a bathroom shower. Officers also say the child's identity had been changed.

Amber is reportedly in good condition.

Police say the girl had gone with her three aunts to a Chuck E. Cheese pizza restaurant in Norwalk on September 21, 2003. The child at that time was in the custody of foster parents. She was reportedly kidnapped during an approved visit.

Detectives began following several leads that led them to the Phoenix home where a sign outside advertises tarot card and psychic readings as well as a 'healer.'

Phoenix police say the girl abducted by three aunts from her foster parents nearly seven years ago has never been in school and can't read. The girl spoke English and some Romanian.

According to Phoenix police, the 7-year-old was apparently living with acquaintances of the aunts when she was found.
The AP is reporting, authorities flew the girl back to Norwalk after she was found Wednesday afternoon. She was placed in the custody of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. It was not clear if her foster parents have been notified.

Sgt Trend Crump told the Associated Press two women and a man were questioned but have been released pending possible charges by California authorities.

Amber was identified by her birth certificate footprint.