WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) - An Amber Alert issued for an 11-year-old girl was canceled on Wednesday afternoon after Westminster police said girl was found. Police say they won't be releasing any more information at this time as the investigation continues, but the girl's family released the following statement:
"We are so grateful to have (our daughter) home and safe. We would request privacy. It is very comforting to know that families like ours are supported by a close-knit community and overwhelming response from the Westminster Police Department along with all the other first responder agencies who step up to help. We just want to offer the biggest thanks to all who helped us in a time of need."
Before the Amber Alert, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation issued an Endangered Missing Alert. The initial response to find the girl was overwhelming and involved community members on their own, as well as law enforcement from multiple agencies.
Westminster Police said they were taking lessons from the Jessica Ridgeway case and applying them to Wednesday's search. Ridgeway was abducted and killed not far from where the girl was reported missing in 2012, and it was at the top of everyone's mind.
The girl was last seen on Tuesday around 3 p.m. walking to a nearby park. She wasn't found until Wednesday, just after 2 p.m.
"We don't know any of the details. We just know they found her. She's safe with the police in the back of a cop car right now, and they're going to go get her," said Bruce Wilson, a neighbor close with the family.
That same neighbor earlier told CBS4 while Jessica Ridgeway came to mind, he was confident the girl would be found.
"She's a sweet girl. She's smart. She's outgoing," Wilson said. "I don't know. I won't think the worst until I hear a reason to believe it."
Wilson spent Tuesday night looking in areas he said he recalls searching for Ridgeway. Areas he knew the kids hung out. He said other neighbors did the same.
"Literally, like beating the bush, looking for her with flashlights."
He spent Wednesday afternoon handing out flyers police made until he heard the girl was found.
"That's the outcome we wanted. (She's) coming home," Wilson told CBS4 after hearing the news.
Westminster Police used all available resources including dive teams, K9 units, drones and field searches. Agencies helping included the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Broomfield Police, Arvada Police, Thornton Police, Thornton Fire, Westminster Fire and the Colorado Bureau of Investigations.
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