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Sunday
Jan122014

Mother Arrested After Six-Year-Old Amber Alert Girl Found

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children(NEW YORK) --  The mother of a 6-year-old Massachusetts girl has been charged with kidnapping after she allegedly abducted her daughter to avoid losing her to state child protective services.

The district attorney overseeing the case said officials believed the girl had been in "immediate danger."

Alize Whipple, 6, was found at a relative's home in Shelby, N.C., Saturday along with her mother Leeanna Wilson, 50, who was stripped of custody of the girl on Friday.

Alize had last been seen boarding a school bus to go home on Wednesday.

Police issued the Amber Alert Friday after the Department of Children and Families went to court to legally take custody of the girl, according to the Fitchburg Police Department. They would not comment on why social services decided to take legal custody of the girl.

Wilson was charged with kidnapping and reckless endangerment, Worchester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said.

He told ABC affiliate WCVB-TV in Boston that there were allegations of abuse in Wilson's home.

"When she was notified she was going to lose custody of the child, that's when all of this started," Early said in a press conference. "Once this Amber Alert went out we received approximately 100 tips that led us to safe return of this child."

Officials from the state Department of Children and Families decided to move Alize into state custody after visiting Wilson's home on Wednesday, according to WCVB-TV.

"We believed that the child was in imminent danger, that's when the Amber Alert was requested," said Early.

Wilson has other children and Early said she was "known" to the state's Department of Children and Families since the 1990s, according to WCVB-TV.

Alize's step-aunt Debbie Jackson told WCVB-TV that she was happy the pair were "safe" in custody, but questioned why Wilson was charged with kidnapping, since the state did not have legal custody of the girl until Friday.

"You guys went after the fact and went ... got custody of her after she had already gone with the child," Jackson said of the Department of Children and Families.

Jackson also questioned why the Amber Alert was not issued till Friday.

Early said in a press conference the requirements to issue an Amber Alert were not met until Friday.

Alize was with a foster family in North Carolina on Sunday and Jackson told WCVB-TV she plans on trying to get custody of the girl.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio