A 12-year-old girl visiting from China who vanished in a possible abduction at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport has been found safe, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Authorities issued an Amber Alert around 8:15 a.m. Thursday after JinJing Ma went missing, Virginia State Police said.
Update 4 p.m. EDT Aug. 3: Chinese media reported Friday that JinJing left Regan National Airport with her parents, who have been in the U.S. for two years, according to WJLA.
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The news network reported JinJing's parents called the New York-based Demidchik Law Firm after seeing reports of their daughter's suspected abduction on the news.
Officials with the FBI met with the parents Friday morning and no one was detained, WJLA reported, citing the law firm. The incident was being treated as a misunderstanding, according to the news network.
Authorities earlier described JinJing’s disappearance as a possible abduction and said they believed she might be in extreme danger.
Update 3:20 p.m. EDT Aug. 3: JinJing was found Friday in the New York City borough of Queens, police said.
“We are grateful that JinJing is safe and with family,” Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police Chief David Huchler said Friday in a statement. “Our goal was to locate her to ensure she was safe and unharmed, and we accomplished that goal.”
Authorities declined to release more information on the circumstances surrounding her recovery Friday.
The FBI is investigating the case.
Police said earlier Friday that they were investigating contact JinJing had with a couple at the World Trade Center in New York just days before her disappearance.
It was not immediately clear whether the couple was the same one that helped her to change her clothes before taking her from the airport Thursday, officials said.
Update 3:10 p.m. EDT Aug. 3: JinJing was found safe Friday, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Additional details were not immediately available.
Update 2:30 p.m. EDT Aug. 3: Police said Friday that it appeared JinJing met with two unidentified people Thursday who helped her to change clothes before they took her from Reagan National Airport.
It was not clear whether the unidentified people, a man and a woman, knew JinJing.
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police Chief David Huchler said authorities are investigating unspecified contact she had with a couple at the World Trade Center in New York City in the days before her disappearance.
“The actual contact and what took place is something that we’re still trying to track down,” Huchler said. It was not immediately clear whether JinJing knew the couple in New York or whether they were the same pair that took her from the airport Thursday.
“It appears there was some familiarity but I don’t know if it was a cordial exchange (in New York),” Huchler said.
JinJing disappeared after she and her she told members of her tour group that she needed to use the bathroom, according to police.She was described as a 4-foot-11, 90-pound girl with black hair and brown eyes.
Authorities continue to investigate.
Original report: Authorities said she could be in extreme danger, WJLA reported.
Police said Ma, after receiving her passport, said she was going to use the restroom, WTTG reported. Instead, she met a female suspect who assisted in helping Ma change her clothes, the television station reported. The suspect was described as Asian with black hair, about 40 years old and wearing a black dress, police said. She stands around 5 feet 2 inches to 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing 130.
In a news conference, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police Chief David Huchler said the pair was last seen leaving in a white Infiniti with New York tags, WTOP reported. Officials later said Thursday night that it was possibly a 2016 or 2018 white Infiniti QX70.
Authorities are working to enhance video to get a tag number, WTOP reported.
“At this point, we don’t know the exact circumstance as to why the child left with this Asian female,” Huchler said. “The child appears to have left without any force, she entered the vehicle without any force.”