A 3-year-old Augusta girl reported missing Tuesday morning was brought to the Augusta Police Department and is safe after a search by local and state police that lasted most of Tuesday and included the issuance of an Amber Alert, just the second time such an alert has been issued in Maine.

Lenore “Lenny” Wilson was taken to the police station Tuesday evening, according to Deputy Chief Jared Mills.

“We are so excited and so relieved she’s safe,” Mills said in an interview outside the station. “She’s with us now in the building. Obviously we’re tending to her needs and making sure she’s all set, and the investigators are taking it from here to make sure the case is looked into properly.”

Police began searching for Wilson early Tuesday morning after city firefighters responded to an unspecified medical emergency at a 26 Sewall St. home but could not find the girl, according Mills.

Mills said he could not specify the nature of that medical emergency, but in the afternoon, a dispatcher from the Augusta Police Department said over the radio that Wilson’s mother had overdosed on drugs and had been taken to the hospital Tuesday morning. Mills said he could not identify the girl’s parents because the incident is under investigation. She was taken to the police station by a man whom the police were interviewing Tuesday evening, and there seemed to be another group of people who came with them to the station, Mills said.

“There was a gentleman who brought her in. There were some other people there as well, who walked her through the front door,” Mills said. “I watched her as she walked through the door. She was in the hands of a woman as she walked in, and I didn’t see any indication of any injury.”

For most of the day, Wilson was believed to be with Fatima L. Gissentaner, 26, who is from New York and goes by the nickname “China.” Gissentaner had been at the residence when a rescue crew was sent to respond to the medical emergency, police said.

Police said the girl was familiar with Gissentaner and Gissentaner’s boyfriend, whom police identified only as “Dollar.” Gissentaner occasionally cared for the child, police said.

Amber Alerts are sent out by law enforcement agencies when they believe a child might have been abducted. The alert can be sent via cellphone and was sent out about 3:25 p.m.

After Wilson was taken to police, the Amber Alert was canceled.

Earlier in the day, Gissentaner told police she would bring the girl to the Augusta Police Department, but after several hours passed without the girl being returned, police issued the Amber Alert. City police officers and members of the Maine State Police and the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office helped search for Wilson on Tuesday morning, Mills said. After interviewing witnesses, police started to suspect the girl was with a man and woman whose identities they did not know.

Since the Amber Alert program began in 1996, the system has been used on just one other occasion in Maine — in November 2009, when a Sanford girl, Haley Trayham, was taken away by her father and later found unharmed in New Hampshire, said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.


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