Police search for woman who allegedly stole car with child inside; 2-year-old is safe

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

Police are searching for a woman who allegedly abducted a 2-year-old Sunday, prompting an Amber Alert and statewide search. The girl was found and is safe. 

Maria McKenzie, 27, of the 1200 block of North Duke Street in York City, faces charges of kidnapping, unlawful restraint of a minor, false imprisonment of a minor, interference with the custody of a minor and theft by unlawful taking, according to court records. 

An Amber Alert was issued Sunday after McKenzie allegedly stole a vehicle with Mya Campbell in it at the Royal Farms in Springettsbury Township at 3:23 p.m. Sunday.

Springettsbury Township Chief of Police Todd King confirmed that Mya was safe and had been reunited with her family in Philadelphia on Sunday night.

"We couldn't have asked for a better outcome," King said Monday. 

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King said the search for McKenzie was ongoing as of Monday afternoon. He noted that the search for Mya was a multi-agency effort, incorporating Springettsbury Township Police, the York County CARE team, Pennsylvania State Police and Philadelphia Police.

Pennsylvania State Police tweeted that Campbell had been recovered safely Sunday evening. 

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According to York County emergency management office spokesman Ted Czech, Springettsbury Township Police were able to identify McKenzie after watching surveillance videos provided by Royal Farms.

"They developed a theory that she was on her way to Philadelphia with the vehicle," Czech said. 

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King said McKenzie had been waiting for a ride, and her father had helped the police identify her. 

Springettsbury police then activated its patrol division and contacted York County's CARE team, as well as notifying Philadelphia Police to be on the lookout for the vehicle and McKenzie.

According to a Philadelphia Police news release, they received a 911 call about a car matching the description of the vehicle on East Clearfield Street just before 6 p.m. 

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"A Philadelphia police supervisor from the Kensington District found the vehicle with a 2 year old female inside matching the Amber Alert," the release reads.

Mya was transported to the St. Christopher's Hospital for Children for observation. King said that he'd heard she was in good spirits.

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Czech said the county appreciated the sharing of the initial alert to inform people of what happened, especially on Facebook.

That praise was echoed by King, who said social media worked as it should in allowing information to spread quickly.

"All of this went down exactly how it should have, how it was supposed to work," King said, "and I can't thank them and I can't thank the residents of Pennsylvania enough." 

— Reach Matt Enright via email at menright@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright.