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Reward leads to abducted girl's return

October 29, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A local girl who police say was abducted by her father and taken out of the country returned home.Authorities are crediting a $25,000 reward for helping bring about the girl's return.

An exuberant Zaria Marceo was reunited with her family this week. After a long trip home from Central America, she is happy to be back.

"I'm feeling happy. It was okay, but they didn't have McDonald's," said Zaria.

The seven-year-old disappeared eight weeks ago when her father failed to drop her off at an LAPD station after court-ordered visitation. Her mother contacted police, but the trail had gone cold.

"He used ground transportation, getting him out of the country through Tijuana and a little deeper into Mexico. Then he took a flight to get him closer to Belize. He went with ground transportation never using his passport through the process," said LAPD Detective Ernest Allen.

At the request of police, Councilman Bernard Parks got the city to offer a $25,000 reward for information. Within days, Robert Ferguson - a man who lives in Belize - was on the phone.

"Notified the police in Belize, where they then took her and her father into custody," said Parks.

At the request of police, Zaria's father Dahnje Marceo, was extradited back to the U.S.

Marceo has been charged with child concealment.

"I just stare at her ... I am just ecstatic to have her back and safe," said Raquel Butler, Zaria's mother.

Offering rewards does not always prove to be fruitful. Only sometimes do they motivate people to offer information. In Zaria's case, it led to a happy ending.


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