A man and a woman have been charged with abducting a seven-year-old Ottawa girl who was reported missing early Saturday morning.
Police were contacted about the girl’s disappearance at around 6 a.m. Saturday, although she had last been seen near Tremblay Road and Avenue S the night before.
She was found safe and unharmed Saturday afternoon at a nearby home, Ottawa police said.
The two suspects each face a single charge of abduction of a child under 14.
They are not related to the girl’s family, police said, and were released from custody under a promise to appear in court.
No Amber Alert
After police announced the girl was missing, some people on social media questioned why an Amber Alert had not been issued.
An Amber Alert is a special bulletin issued on cellphones, television and through other forms of media when someone under 18 is abducted and believed to be in imminent danger.
In order to meet the criteria for an alert, police must also have a description of either a suspect or the suspect’s vehicle.
One such alert was issued Friday after an 11-year-old girl from Brampton, Ont., was abducted. She was soon found dead, and her father has been charged with first-degree murder.
Before the charges in the Ottawa case were announced Sunday evening, Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau said the girl’s disappearance did not meet the “very specific criteria” required to issue an alert.
“We want to make sure that when we do use it, it’s used for the right reasons. And in this case, it did not meet that threshold,” Bordeleau said.
Calls made Sunday evening to the Ottawa Police Service’s major crime unit were not answered.