Randy McIlwain, NBC 5 News
Jessica Smith and her mother have been found safe in New Mexico
Jessica Smith, the 11-year-old Fort Worth girl taken by her mother nearly a week ago, was found safe Sunday in New Mexico.
Fort Worth police issued an Amber alert last Tuesday, Feb. 7, saying the girl's life was in grave danger.
Smith and her mother were found in their car south of Tres Piedras around 1 p.m., police said. Tres Piedras is in northern New Mexico near a national forest.
Smith did not appear to be injured, but both she and her mother were "exhausted and hungry" and both were transported to a local hospital for medical attention, police announced in a news release. Jessica and Kimberly Smith are both now out of the hospital.
Jessica is reportedly in Albuquerque, NM while child protective services work on getting her to family.
Kimberly Smith will be extradited to Fort Worth to face aggravated assault and child endangerment charges. Two Fort Worth officers are in New Mexico along with a representative from the Tarrant County District Attorney's office to work on the extradition.
A press release from the Fort Worth Police Department gives further details:
It is with great joy and satisfaction to announce that the nationwide search that began on Tuesday, February 7, 2012, has been cancelled.
Based on tips investigators received, New Mexico State Police has been canvassing the state of New Mexico for the past few days. Today, February 12, 2012 at approximately 1:00 p.m., New Mexico State Police Officers located Jessica and Kimberly in their vehicle nine miles South of Tres Piedras, New Mexico which is an area on the edge of Carson National Forest. Both Kimberly and Jessica appeared to be very exhausted and hungry; they were both immediately transported to a local hospital in order to receive further medical attention. 11 year old Jessica did not appear to be physically injured at the time she was located.
Kimberly will eventually be extradited to Fort Worth on her two felony warrants; Aggravated Assault and Endangering a Child. Both are from Tuesday’s investigation that revealed these acts of violence that took place the day prior.
We thank everyone involved with the successful mission with this child abduction investigation as well as the successful apprehension of Kimberly Smith. If not for the actions of the school officials, witnesses, reporting parties, along with the coordinated efforts of our law enforcement partners combined with the public and our media partners, this unfortunate sensitive and complicated investigation would not have ended with such a positive outcome.