Crews search for missing 2-year-old in Newaygo County
An Amber Alert is in effect for a missing 2-year-old in Newaygo County and officials are asking for more volunteers to help in the search effort.
Sixty volunteers searched throughout the night for Amber Rose Smith. Amber disappeared from her home on East 13 Mile Road in Paris around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Her father, Dale Smith, reported that he went into another room in the home and when he came back, Amber was gone.
He and his wife, Diane, spent about 30 to 60 minutes searching for her on his own and then called police who immediately began searching with police dogs and a state police helicopter.
A command center is set up near the Barton Township home. Nearly 200 volunteers are combing a one-mile radius around the home. The Newaygo County Sheriff's Office said the search area will expand throughout the day.
In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, authorities called the case "suspicious."
Officials say they are coordinating the search but also preparing for a possible criminal investigation. WOOD TV 8 reports there is no evidence of foul play at this time, but police say in cases like this, with children walking away from home, the missing person is typically found within hours.
Investigators are following up on all reports of strange cars in the area and other possible suspicious activity.
Officials are asking for volunteers to sign up at the Barton Township Park office on 17-mile road in Hawkins.
Both of Amber's parents and police say she has wandered off before. She was last seen wearing a black halter top with a pink tie and possibly wearing jeans with no shoes. Amber has blonde hair and blue or hazel eyes.
Anyone with information, or who may have seen anything unusual in the area between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday is asked to call Newaygo County Central Dispatch at 231-689-5288, 231-689-6623 or 911.
UPDATE: Amber was found alive and safe. For details, click here.