Police fear missing hospital girl's health in great dangerPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- Phoenix Police are searching for an 11-year-old leukemia patient whose life could be in danger after leaving a Valley hospital.
Police responded to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital on Wednesday night after receiving a call of a “check welfare.”
Officers learned that an 11-year-old Hispanic girl named Emily had been brought to the hospital about a month ago by her parents to receive treatment for leukemia. She was scheduled to be released from the hospital the following day, according to detectives.
However, for reasons unknown, her mother removed her from the hospital early; their departure was captured on hospital surveillance video.
Video shows the mother walking Emily from her room with an IV still attached. They're then seen heading to the elevators and eventually a restroom, where her mother changed her clothes and removed the IV from a chest catheter placed into her heart, before walking her out of the hospital.
"If she does not have this catheter sealed correctly by medical staff, we understand it's highly likely she could obtain an infection and ultimately die within a couple of days," said Sgt. Steve Martos of Phoenix police.
Police say detectives have been working feverishly for the past two days, but are now turning to the public for help. An earlier infection caused Emily to lose an arm; police say now they're worried about another infection with potentially grave consequences.
"This is an 11-year-old girl who is already being treated for leukemia, had to go through an arm amputation, now taken from the hospital prematurely," said Sgt. Martos. "That in and of itself could result in her death. I think she's probably suffered enough."
According to authorities, Emily’s mother is 35-years-old, Hispanic, and goes by the name Norma. Her father is 46-years-old, Hispanic, and goes by the name Luis.
Police believe the family left the hospital in a 1998 Ford mini-van, last seen with AZ license plate AVY3157. However, detectives say that license plate number is not registered to the van, so it's possible it's been removed.
Detectives believe the family has ties to California and Mexico. They put out alerts to agencies in California, as well as other hospitals in the area.
Anyone with any information about Emily’s whereabouts is being asked to call Phoenix Police.