Amber Alert lifted, tot still missing

Written By My Infomation on 4/26/11 | 4/26/2011

Leila Elizabeth May, 3, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Police believe she has been abducted by her mother. (Police photo)

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The child abduction alert has been lifted, but the investigation remains active for a missing three-year-old Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., girl.
A province-wide Amber Alert was issued through the Ontario Provincial Police for Leila Elizabeth May at 3:30 a.m. Monday. It was lifted more than six hours later, at 10 a.m., but Sault Police Services continue to look for the missing child.
“Amber Alerts have a limited life span (usually five hours),” Staff Sgt. Jane Martynuck of Sault Police Services said Monday afternoon.
“The purpose of the alert is to generate maximum saturation with the public and generate some tips to assist the investigation... We have received numerous leads as a result of the alert and officers are in the process of checking them out.”
Martynuck, who believes “it has been a while, if ever,” that city police have requested an Amber Alert, would not confirm a specific location that police are searching.
"The investigation will go where tips lead us,” she said.
May, described as three-foot-three, 40 pounds, with long blond hair and blue eyes, was dropped off for a scheduled visit with her mother at 12:30 p.m. Easter Sunday, but was not returned to her guardian, as scheduled, later that evening.
The young girl is believed to be with her mother, Kristy Ann Barsanti, 21, described as five-foot-two, 115 pounds, with above-shoulder dark-brown hair with a red streak, and green eyes.
The child abduction alert program arrived in Ontario at least six years ago as a voluntary co-operative plan of the Ontario Association of Broadcasters, law enforcement agencies, the ministry of transportation and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.
Upon activation, through radio, television, cable, Internet, electronic highway signs and OLG terminals, “thousands of eyes” immediately begin watching for the victim, the suspect and possibly a vehicle.
In this case police, as of Monday afternoon, had no indication whether a vehicle is involved.
An Amber Alert, according to the OPP website, is not intended for cases involving parental abductions, or runaways, except in life-threatening situations, but rather on the belief that there has been an abduction and the belief the victim is at risk of harm.
The young girl was last seen wearing a green sweat suit, a pink rain jacket, and pink rain boots with rabbit faces.
Anyone with information on the matter is asked to telephone Sault Police Services at 705-949-6300 extension 215.

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