A missing persons case that has spanned several years has finally come to a close as a missing mother and daughter were located around 25 miles from where they were last spotted on Dec. 4, 2016, in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
The 21-year-old mother, Amber Renaye Weber, and her 1-year-old daughter, Miracle Smith, were reported missing at the end of January 2017.
At the time, Weber had been living with her sister. Weber’s father said she left very abruptly one night.
“Our one daughter [her sister] called us and said she just took off in the middle of the night,” Monty Weber told WNCN-TV. “Didn’t bring clothes or nothing, just grabbed the baby. We figured somebody came and picked her up.”
“Detectives with the Fayetteville Police Department are requesting the public’s assistance in locating Amber Renaye Weber and her daughter Miracle Smith, who were reported missing on January 31, 2017,” the original Facebook post from the Fayetteville Police Department read.
“Weber and Smith were last seen on December 4, 2016 along the 1200 block of Martindale Drive, in Fayetteville.”
In 2018, authorities believed the pair to be in Harnett County due to medical records found after Weber received treatment, but the trail went cold, according to WNCN.
In 2021 Sonia Roldan, an investigative assistant with the Fayetteville police, partnered with U.S. Marshalls to look for new leads on Weber and Smith’s whereabouts, as they had reason to believe there was a link between them and a man named Joe Smith who lived close by and was allegedly Miracle Smith’s grandfather.
On Tuesday, multiple agencies including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office found mother and daughter in a home in Bunnlevel with Joe Smith.
Smith, 59, had been arrested on Jan. 19 and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was arrested again on Tuesday and four firearms were removed from the property.
Miracle and her sibling were taken to the Harnett County Department of Social Services for victim assistance, according to WTVD-TV.
“The culmination of years of following leads and tips resulted in the outcome that we had all hoped for today; the successful recovery of a child who had been missing since December 2016,” U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of North Carolina Michael East said in a statement.
“The U.S. Marshals Service and our investigative partners will not quit, nor be deterred until these children are rescued.”
The Fayetteville Police Department recognized both Roldan’s work and the U.S. Marshalls’ involvement in the case.
“Through the coordinated efforts of both departments to seek out new leads for the missing mother and daughter, they were able to locate them and both are reported to be safe,” the department posted on Facebook.
Weber’s parents are relieved she’s been found, though at the time of the interview they hadn’t been able to see her yet.
“We’re, we’re happy, yes,” Monty Weber said. “I mean we’d like to see the grandbabies, we’d like, you know, we’d like to see her.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.