Missing Miami Gardens girl found safe, 1 arrested
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (WSVN) -- An 11-year-old girl who had been missing for days has been found safe, Miami Gardens Police say.
Authorities located Melanie Sharpe Uberia at around 12:40 a.m. Friday at an apartment complex on Sherman Street in Hollywood.
The girl's family said she is in a clinic being checked out, but described her as doing fine. Both police and the family do not think she was sexually assaulted. Her stepfather Cildo Chavez said, "What I got from her was, 'I love this guy. This guy lets me do what I want, doesn't tell me what to do.'"
Bit by bit what happened to Uribe since she went missing Tuesday night is coming to light. "She says they had a big screen TV," Chavez said. "She had a place to watch the TV, they ate pizza ... She says, 'I tried to call you, I tried to call you, but they told me not to.'"
Police spent the day combing her neighborhood in search of the girl. They later found the child at an apartment hanging out with several teens. She told her stepfather that several people were staying at the apartment, and she was happy.
The 11-year-old lives with her grandparents in Miami Gardens. Her grandfather realized she was missing when he went to check on her in her bedroom Wednesday morning and last saw her the night before.
Miami Gardens Police have since arrested a 16-year-old boy on a felony charge for interfering with custody.
Uberia left her iPad, iPhone and the rest of her belongings at the house. Tracking her down meant cracking her passwords on her computer. In doing so, they found she met people playing video games on-line and in chat rooms. "They did find out she did talk to some people that were registered offenders and probably known as sex predators also," said Chavez.
The stepfather believes she had met with that 16-year-old before and noted that her grandfather happens to be very strict, and this might have felt like freedom for her. However, her stepfather feels this teen had sinister intentions for her. He said he had a talk with the 11-year-old and explained to her the dangers of meeting strangers on-line. He said she promised him that it would never happen again.
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