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Father of missing Calif. baby on the run, "armed and dangerous"

REDDING, Calif. -- Law officers are searching communities in Northern California for the father of a missing 6-month-old girl. Authorities say the man is on the run and considered armed and dangerous.

Authorities say 23-year-old Matthew Graham stole a semiautomatic gun from his mother Saturday after hearing that the search for his daughter, Ember, had turned up a possible lead.

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Ember Graham KHSL

The Record Searchlight reports Shasta County sheriff's deputies swarmed the small city of Shasta Lake on Sunday after people reported spotting the wanted man there.

Searchers also combed the sparsely populated Ono area for Ember. Authorities said a pacifier resembling one belonging to the baby was found there on Friday.

Matthew Graham reported his daughter's disappearance from her crib in his Happy Valley home on July 2. He became a person of interest after authorities say he gave inconsistent statements to investigators.

He was booked into jail on an unrelated felony probation violation after he allegedly failed to disclose medication he took, in violation of the terms of his probation on a DUI and forgery conviction, police say. He's not been charged with any crimes related to his daughter's disappearance.

He was released from jail and was required to check in with his probation officer daily, according to CBS affiliate KHSL. He reportedly missed a meeting with his probation officer before going on the run.

Authorities say they have surveillance video of Graham taking the child to a convenience store the night of her disappearance, according to KHSL. The station reports that Graham told them he took the baby to the store and then drove the short distance back to their home, but officials say the video shows him driving in the opposite direction of the home when he left the store, and heading back towards the home about an hour later.

Officials say Graham didn't show remorse for his daughter's disappearance, didn't ask about the efforts to find her, and refused to take a lie detector test, reports the station.

Investigators have also called an abduction scenario unlikely. They say the door leading to Ember's playpen had a broken door handle mechanism and needs be opened with a screwdriver, and a potential abductor would need to know how to open the door.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Shasta County Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit at (530) 245-6135 or Sheriff's Records at (530) 245-6025. Information can also be sent to the Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit email address: mcu@co.shasta.ca.us

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