Vanessa Morales search: Slain mother identified as search for Connecticut toddler continues

ANSONIA, Conn. — Authorities in Connecticut are searching for a toddler missing since authorities found the girl’s mother dead Monday evening.

Authorities issued an Amber Alert on Wednesday for Vanessa Morales, 1. Police believe she may be in danger.

PRESS RELEASE The Ansonia Police Department is attempting to locate a missing one-year old child, Venessa Morales, who...

Posted by Ansonia Police Department on Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Here are the latest updates:

Update 12:30 a.m. EST Dec. 7: About 100 people braved the cold and came to together to show support as investigators search for Vanessa Morales, who has been missing since Monday.

“I’m happy and amazed,” Vanessa’s cousin Joshua Morales told the Connecticut Post.

Police are continuing to investigate.

“We continue to investigate leads and do follow ups and would like to thank the community for all their support in our efforts to bring baby Vanessa home to her family,” Ansonia Police Lt. Patrick Lynch told the Post.

Update 11:40 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Ansonia police have identified the woman found slain Monday as Christine Marie Holloway, 43, the mother of Vanessa Morales, 1.

Officials with the FBI and several police agencies continue to search for Vanessa, who was reported missing when authorities found her mother.

“We are not looking to arrest or start criminal proceedings against whoever has Vanessa. We just want to know where she is and that she is safe and well,” Ansonia police Lt. Patrick Lynch said Friday. “She is a 1-year-old child who is wholly dependent on others for their care and well-being, and we know locating Vanessa would bring a sense of relief to her family.”

Vanessa’s aunt Anna, who was identified only by her first name on Thursday, pleaded for Vanessa’s return in a brief, emotional statement from the family.

“Anyone with any information on her whereabouts, we beg of you to please contact Ansonia Police Department or call the FBI tip line, 203-503-5555,” Anna said. “We desperately need anyone that might be with baby Vanessa to keep her safe, unharmed and get her back to us quickly.”

Aunt begs for her niece's return

Anna the aunt of missing Vanessa Morales, begs for her return at a press conference.

Posted by FOX61 on Thursday, December 5, 2019

Authorities continue to investigate.

Update 12:45 p.m. EST Dec. 5: The search for Vanessa Morales, 1, has shifted to Hamden, a town about 10 miles east of Ansonia, according to the Connecticut Post.

The newspaper and WTNH reported authorities were focused on a donation bin on State Street.

Police said family members last saw Vanessa on Friday, according to WFSB. Authorities were reviewing a report Thursday from a witness who claimed to have seen Vanessa with an unidentified man Saturday, WTNH reported.

Authorities continue to investigate.

Update 1:50 a.m. EST Dec. 5: Authorities on Wednesday issued an Amber Alert for 1-year-old Vanessa Morales of Ansonia. If you know where she may be, call Ansonia police at 203-735-1885 or the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-225-5324.

Any person with information on the whereabouts of Venessa Morales is asked to contact Ansonia Police Department at 203-735-1885 or the FBI at 1-800-225-5324

Posted by Connecticut AMBER Alert on Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Original report: According to the Connecticut Post, Ansonia police discovered the body of the girl’s mother, whose name has not been released, while conducting a welfare check at the pair’s Myrtle Avenue home about 7:30 p.m. Monday. Investigators believe the death was a homicide, the newspaper reported.

Officers could not find Vanessa. In a Tuesday news release, the Ansonia Police Department said the girl, who hasn’t been seen since Friday, “may be endangered.”

Authorities said Vanessa has brown hair and eyes, stands 2 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs 17 pounds.

WFSB-TV reported Tuesday that Vanessa’s father, who did not live with the mother and daughter but sometimes stayed with them, has been cooperative. Officials have not released his name.

Police, who have teamed up with investigators from state and federal agencies, have not yet named any suspects, the Post reported.

Read more here or here.

This story is updated to reflect a change provided by police in the spelling of Vanessa Morelas’ name.

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