SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) — The FBI issued an AMBER alert Friday for a 2-year-old Sacramento girl who has been missing for nearly a week since she was taken by her father after her mother was granted custody of the toddler.
KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:
FBI agent John Cauthen said Mourad “Moni” Samaan and his daughter, Madeline Samaan-Fay, were last seen in a Sacramento Raley’s grocery store Sunday.
Since then, “the guy’s gone electronically dark. No cell phone, no banking, no email, no nothing,” Cauthen said. “He was formerly in contact with family members. … He has never essentially disappeared like this.”
Samaan was served the day before with a notice that the girl’s mother was awarded full custody of their daughter, ending what had been a joint custody arrangement, Cauthen said.
He then failed to return the child to her mother as expected.
“We’ve been working on this for a week and pouring resources into it, using all the resources available to us. We believe the child may be in danger,” he said.
Samaan has not been charged with a crime.
Though Samaan is fluent in Spanish, the pair is believed to still be somewhere in California because there have been no border sightings, Cauthen said. He was born in Egypt but is a U.S. citizen.
The mother didn’t report the girl missing until Tuesday.
“It’s not unusual when people are in distress to not notify law enforcement immediately,” Cauthen said. “For us, the time of reporting is kind of irrelevant to the investigation, other than we got a late start.”
The FBI asked the public for its help in spotting the pair or Samaan’s vehicle. He drives a Green Toyota 4Runner, California license plate: 3XRM111. The FBI also released photographs of the pair, including a photo showing them in the grocery store Sunday.
Samaan has some connections to the Bay Area, but none have checked out, Cauthen said.
About 12 people were in an FBI command center Friday evening taking phone calls from the public.
“We don’t have any great tips as of yet,” Cauthen said. “The reality is we’ve got nothing.”
Samaan is 49, 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighs 160 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes.
His daughter is 2-feet, 8-inches tall and weighs 28 pounds. She has brown hair and eyes.
(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)