QUEENS — A 12-year-old Chinese girl who went missing from Reagan Washington National Airport Thursday, sparking an investigation into a possible kidnapping, has been found safe in Queens.
Jinjing Ma disappeared shortly after arriving at the airport with a tour group from China.
Officials initially believed the child was abducted, but on Friday, a Queens Immigration Attorney told PIX11 News that a friend of Ma’s parents said they used an immigration consultant to get their daughter on the tour as a means of getting her into the United States.
In a press conference on Friday, Airports Authority Chief of Police David Huchler said the tour group was scheduled to catch a flight bound for the west coast when Ma said she had to use the bathroom.
“It wasn’t until they were starting to check through security that another student within the group notified chaperones she was missing,” Huchler said.
Surveillance footage shows Ma leaving with an unknown, middle-aged woman, seen in surveillance footage wearing a black dress.
A witness reported seeing the same woman giving food to the 12-year-old girl when the tour group was in NYC, days before arriving at Reagan National Airport.
Investigators said cameras at the airport show Ma changing her clothes with the help of the alleged abductor. The pair was seen leaving the airport in a white Infiniti QX70 with New York plates.
Thirty-six hours later, the 12-year-old is in the custody of her parents at their lawyer’s office, who called for legal help when they realized the tour group called the police.