Missing 10-year-old found after vehicle theft and hours of wandering in Montgomery Co.

Montgomery County police announced early Friday morning that the 10-year-old from Hyattsville, Maryland, who went missing for several hours when the vehicle she was in was stolen, has been found “safe and unharmed.”

Police said the child went missing just before 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day; authorities announced they had found her around 5 a.m. Friday.

The family told our news partners at NBC Washington that she pretended to be asleep while the suspect drove around. Eventually, the young girl said the suspect noticed that she was in the back of the car and abandoned the SUV on Weller Road in Glenmont.

Family members said that she wandered around for roughly five hours looking for a fire house before someone saw her and helped her get home.

“We can’t believe it,”  her aunt told NBC Washington. “She’s getting some much-needed rest after a very long and frightening night.”

Police said that the child was waiting inside of her parent’s gray 2013 Honda Pilot when an unknown male entered the car.

They said that the vehicle with the license plate 5EN1799, fled the scene with her inside.

No details have been released on where the child was found, or circumstances of her recovery. The suspect in this car theft has not been found.

WTOP’s Joshua Barlow contributed to this report.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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