Missing 19-month-old found safe
SOUTH BEND, Ind. --A 19-month-old girl reportedly went missing after a complicated series of events. According to St. Joseph County Police the call came in as shots fired and after that the situation escalated.
The 19-month-old was found safe. In the midst of that shots fired call, the suspect said he was in possession of a gun, which officers found in his vehicle.
Police have confirmed that the suspect is 35-year-old Damion Anderson.
What he told police while he was being detained sparked this entire search. “He suggested he may have actually thrown a 19-month-old child, his child, out of the vehicle,” says Assistant Chief Bill Thompson. “That information is what prompted the overwhelming public safety that we had out here.”
Thompson says when officers arrived on the scene of where the shots fired called was reported from, they encountered a man who ended up resisting custody.
More than half a dozen departments searched several miles of highway, shoulder and median in an effort to prove or disprove that there was a child out here.
Thompson says police dogs, ATV’s and even a National Guard helicopter out of Gary, assisted in this search.
Thompson adds they used this amount of resources to eliminate every possible alternative in terms of the missing little girl.
While the search was going on, detectives were working the other side of this story trying to get in contact with the mother.
“Those detectives were able to find the mother and the child and everyone is okay, but obviously when we were given that sort of information from the subject we had to go with the information we had and pull out all the stops we did,” says Thompson.
What started off as a section of US 31 from Kern to State Road 4, ended up extending south of the Marshall County line.
The suspect was transported to the hospital. There will possibly be an evaluation of his mental health and another evaluation on substance intoxication.
“Also based on the information that we developed from our initial contact, a strong likelihood that we’ll be forwarding paperwork to the prosecutor’s office that could very well result in felony charges,” adds Thompson.