PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was Pittsburgh police officers from Zone 5 who found a missing 5-month-old and her mother overnight, but authorities are crediting members of the Homewood community for helping them find the missing pair.
The little girl and her mother had been missing for more than 14 hours.
In an attempt to avoid having custody taken of 5-month-old Ariah, police say Ashley Waller is accused of assaulting a Children, Youth and Family caseworker at a family shelter and took off.
Zone 5 officers, investigating an unrelated call on Tiago Street in Homewood just after midnight, received the tip that would lead to the safe recovery of that baby girl.
“A citizen approached them and had seen the news broadcast of the missing infant,” said Lt. Reyne Kacsuta, of Pittsburgh Police. “That citizen said, ‘I know where that infant is.’”
More help came on Tiago Street when officers reached the infant and arrested Waller. They found the baby was dirty and had a soiled diaper.
“Offered and gave the officers clothing for the infant, food for the infant, and they gave diapers so the baby’s diaper could be changed,” said Lt. Kacsuta.
There was also concern that the baby may have been injured.
The caseworker reported to police that after she was allegedly choked her and kicked her, she watched as the baby’s head appeared to hit against a wooden pillar as Waller ran off.
The baby was taken to Children’s Hospital for a medical evaluation.
Lt. Kacsuta wanted to make sure neighbors received the credit they deserved.
“It was a big help and we would have had trouble locating this infant,” said Lt. Kacsuta. “So, we want to say thanks to the people on Tiago Street.”
With Waller now in the Allegheny County Jail, she’s facing charges of aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person and interfering with the custody of a child.