Phoenix father wanted for custodial abduction; 3-year-old missing for nearly a week

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A Valley mother is begging the public for help finding her 2-year-old daughter and the man she believes took her -- the little girl's biological father, Brent Anderson By Catherine Holland A Valley mother is begging the public for help finding her 2-year-old daughter and the man she believes took her -- the little girl's biological father, Brent Anderson By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- A Valley mother is begging the public for help finding her nearly 3-year-old daughter and the man she believes took her -- the little girl's biological father.

Athena Manuma said goodbye to her daughter, Ava Enlow, the morning of Feb. 18 when she dropped her off for a scheduled visit with her father, Brent Anderson, and his girlfriend. That was the last time Manuma saw Ava.

"I thought that on Wednesday I would go and pick her up, and she wasn't there," Manuma said.

Manuma immediately contacted the police. Based on that police report, Ava, who will turn 3 in April, was officially listed as missing on Feb. 22

Not only has Ava vanished, but Anderson is missing, as well.

Investigators are calling this a custodial abduction.

Manuma and police are especially concerned because Anderson recently lost his job and his home and is facing other financial hardships.

None of Anderson's family or friends has been able to contact him nor do they have any idea if he intends to harm Ava.

While an Amber Alert has not been issued, Ava's family believe both Ava and Anderson could be in danger.

Manuma said she has had some serious problems with Anderson, but she never believed he would abduct their daughter. She said everything seemed normal when she dropped off Ava to spend some time with her dad.

"The most terrifying thing is you're sitting there saying, 'Where is she?'" Manuma said. "You're like, 'This is a dream,' or 'This is just a miscommunication. Am I on the wrong day?' That's what's going through your mind. When she doesn't show up five days later, you can't sleep, you can't eat."

Ava is a white girl, about 3 feet tall, weighing about 40 pounds. She has blond hair and blue eyes.

Anderson is a white man, 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 235 pounds. Like his daughter, he has blond hair and blue eyes. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Police say Anderson drives a dark blue 2002 two-door Chevy Silverado pickup truck with the Arizona license plate 038-KSV.

Manuma and her family have set up website with more information about Ava and Anderson. It is BringAvaHome.com. There is also a Facebook page -- Help Bring Ava Home.

Anyone having information regarding this case is asked to contact the Phoenix Police Department Missing Persons Unit at 602-534-2121 or 602-262-6141. You also may email phoenix.tips.ppd@phoenix.gov.