"Emily," Ariz. girl with leukemia taken from hospital, is safe in Mexico, father says
(CBS/AP) PHOENIX - The father of an 11-year-old girl with leukemia who was taken out of an Arizona hospital the day before she was supposed to be discharged says his daughter is doing well and being treated in Mexico.
Phoenix police have been looking for Emily since last Wednesday when surveillance video shows the girl's mother walking her out of Phoenix Children's Hospital. Authorities say the girl underwent a month of chemotherapy and had been treated for an infection that forced doctors to amputate her arm.
Police said the girl was at risk infection if she wasn't brought back.
But the girl's father, Luis Bracamontes, tells NBC News she is safe and being treated in Mexico.
"She is well and she is fine," he said while declining to reveal where the girl was being treated.
Bracamontes says he blames the Phoenix hospital for the loss of his daughter's arm and says the family was pressured over medical bills. Hospital officials, however, say decisions about patient care are not based on ability to pay.
Phoenix police, meanwhile, say the father's story raises even more red flags.
"We're in the same spot we were in last Thursday when we began looking for her," police Sgt. Steve Martos said Wednesday. "We understand the right of a parent to change doctors, to change hospitals, we're not challenging that. We just want to make sure that Emily is getting the right medical attention that she requires to prevent this potential horrific ending."
Martos says it's strange that the girl's parents won't give authorities the girl's location so they can confirm Bracamontes' story.
"So we're going to continue looking for her until we either run out of leads or she is found," he added. "We can't just drop it."
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