Missing 9-year-old Gresham girl found following late-night searc - KPTV - FOX 12

Missing 9-year-old Gresham girl found following late-night search

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GRESHAM, OR (KPTV) -

A little girl who reported missing in Gresham early Tuesday is now safely back at home after being found in a house about 20 blocks away from her own.

Gresham police say 9-year-old Elisa Salmeron was finally found in a home for sale on East Burnside just off 142nd Avenue.

Officers believe the girl ran away from home Monday night and happened to meet other runaways who brought her to the house to keep her safe.

Police say the child took out the trash at her family’s apartment near 162nd and Burnside around 11 p.m. Monday but never returned.

The girl’s family said they had no idea what happened or if she was okay, and as police started to search, her mother said she was worried sick.

“I just pray she’s safe. I don’t want to think the worst,” Rosa Salmeron said Tuesday morning.

Investigators got a break when surveillance photos from a nearby MAX platform showed the girl alone and then with three teenagers.

A 15-year-old named Dennis, who did not want to be fully identified, said he was one of the teenagers who found the 9-year-old and added that he was worried for her.

“We were worried because it was late, and she was by herself, and she’s a little girl, so we asked her some questions,” he said.

Dennis said the girl told the teens she was homeless and going to the park, but they were concerned about her so they brought her to the vacant home Dennis knew about on Burnside and 142nd.

“(We) broke into it, gave her a place to sleep, gave her some food and that was about it,” he explained.

Officers and the girl’s mother still had no idea where she was until a neighbor who saw the teens at the house called police around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, at which point two nearby officers rushed over and found Elisa safe and sound.

They say two of the three teenagers she was with were also reported as runaways, and they have been returned home as well.

While Gresham police say it would have been nice if those teenagers had called officers the moment they found Elisa around midnight, saving her mother 12 hours of heartache, they’re just thankful everyone is accounted for and safe.

Rosa Salmeron was just thankful to see her daughter, returned home with the tiny suitcase she left home with late in the night.

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