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Missing Kindergartner Found, Reward Offered For Abductor

Posted: Updated:
PHILADELPHIA -

A missing 5-year-old girl from West Philadelphia was found alive Tuesday morning in Upper Darby, but the search for the person who abducted her from her Cobbs Creek school is still ongoing.

The child was taken to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia after she was found around 4:40 a.m. by a passerby. She was hiding beneath playground equipment just outside the city, near 69th Street Terminal.

Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood told FOX 29 News that the little girl was found "scantily clad," cold and shivering in the rain.

The 5-year-old was apparently wearing just a T-shirt and had not been fed.

Police said she told the man who found her that she had run away from the people who took her.

The child was checked out at the hospital and interviewed, and later in the day she went to speak with a forensic investigator.

The 5-year-old had been the subject of an Amber Alert. FOX 29 News is no longer using her name as she may have been the victim of a sexual assault.

At approximately 8:50 a.m. Monday, the 5-year-old was abducted from the William Cullen Bryant Elementary School, located at 6001 Cedar Avenue in Philadelphia, by a female wearing black Muslim-style clothing, police reported.

No one realized the girl had been taken until an after-school care worker went to her classroom to get her around 3 p.m.

The woman – who police said was wearing head garb that covered her face and appeared to be pregnant – claimed to be the child's mom. Surveillance video released Monday night showed the child leaving with the woman.

Detectives from the Philadelphia Police Department's Special Victims Unit held a news conference later on Tuesday morning to update the status of the case.

Capt. John Darby said school officials did some level of trying to screen the woman when she approached a hall monitor. However, the woman then went down to the classroom, said she was taking the child to breakfast and left with her.

WATCH VIDEO: Complete Police News Conference Tuesday Morning

Detectives have conducted several interviews in the case, including with the child. They are trying to ascertain, given the condition in which she was found, whether any sexual assault might have occurred.

A FOX 29 camera spotted the girl, her mother and an investigator headed to meet with a forensic investigator late Tuesday morning.

But police say that so far they believe the abductor to be a stranger to the child, and that woman's identity is unknown at this time.

The local Fraternal of Police is offering a $5,000 reward for capture of the kidnapper. That's in addition to $10,000 reward that was being offered by the mayor's office.

FOX 29's Steve Keeley reported Tuesday morning from the playground where the girl was found, while FOX 29's Karen Hepp was outside CHOP (see the video reports above).

Of course, police and school officials continue to investigate how an unknown woman was permitted to go into the school and sign out a kindergartner.

We'll have more on the search for the suspect and the child's condition on the FOX 29 News at 5, 6 and 10. You can also get updates anytime at MyFOXPhilly.com.

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