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Police: Florida AMBER Alert Was 'Misunderstanding'

By: CBS Miami; FDLE Email
By: CBS Miami; FDLE Email

CBS News, Miami

MIAMI (CBS4) – Miami-Dade Police cancelled the statewide Amber Alert early Monday evening after a 5 year old girl, believed to have been abducted, was found safe.

Police say the whole ordeal was a “misunderstanding”.

According to police, a family from Venezuela rented a car and was running errands around town when their daughter wanted a bottle of water. The water was in the trunk, and the girl went through the backseat to access the trunk but could not reach the water. At a stoplight at the intersection of Bird Road and 57th Avenue, her father popped the trunk to get the water, and a motorist behind the car thought they saw the girl in the trunk.

That motorist called police and a statewide Amber Alert was issued.

Police caught up with the family in the parking lot of a Costco warehouse store. They were confused when questioned by police.

“We approached them,” said Miami-Dade Police Det. Roy Rutland. “Of course, they had no idea what was going on.”

But what the witness reported, was actually what happened.

“What the father explained is exactly what our witness told us,” said Rutland. ”This caller was right on the money. And what she saw is exactly what occurred. This was a great exercise for law enforcement.”


CBS News, Miami

MIAMI (CBS4) – Miami-Dade Police canceled the statewide Amber Alert early Monday evening after a 5 year old girl, believed to have been abducted, was found safe.

Police have not released any detailed information, but did confirm to CBS4 News that the young girl was unharmed. They are questioning the two adults she was found with.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued the alert after receiving information that a young girl was seen in the trunk of a car on a Miami street.

Miami-Dade Police say a witness was behind a car at the intersection of Bird Road and 57th Avenue and saw what looked like a 5 year old girl in the partially opened trunk of a 2013 Grey Chevrolet Impala Monday afternoon. The witness told police that the driver of the car got out and slammed the trunk before taking off.

The car was travelling east near the intersection of Bird Road and 57th Avenue. The Florida tag number, 106LYT, traced back to a rental car company and the renter is identified as Hernan Daza-Novellino. The co-renter of the car is identified as Anna Rita Di Frances Cantonio. It is unknown if Di Frances Cantonio was in the car at the time of the suspected abduction.

The witness described the girl as having long, straight brown hair and was last seen wearing a pink outfit.

No child was ever reported missing.

Miami-Dade Police Detectives stopped at a Citgo station at the corner of Bird Road and Red Road. That’s where they looked at surveillance tape from the station. Owner Enrique Finkelstein showed D’Oench that tape and said detectives told him they thought the 2013 Chevrolet Impala may have been captured on the tape.

“They told me they thought this could be the car,” said Finkelstein, pointing at a vehicle that was seen going southbound on Red Road.

“I wanted to what I could to help,” said Finkelstein. “Because if this was true, this would be horrible. Just horrible.”


A Florida AMBER Alert has been issued for an Unknown Hispanic Female, approximately 4 to 6 years old. The child has long straight brown hair and was last seen wearing pink clothing. The child may be in the company of Hernan E. Novellino, They were last seen travelling east bound on Bird Road at the corner of Bird Road and 57th Avenue in Miami. They may be traveling in a 2013, gray Chevrolet Impala, FL tag number 106LYT.


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