[UPDATE: FOUND SAFE] URGENT AMBER ALERT: Toddler girl with autism missing in New York following family argument

Update @ 7 p.m. EST:

The NYPD tweeted Wednesday evening that 2-year-old Seniya Benitez was found safe and her father, Christian Benitez, is in police custody.

Original Story: 

An AMBER ALERT was issued early Wednesday for a 2-year-old New York City girl whose non-custodial father allegedly took her Tuesday night during an argument with the girl’s grandmother.

WNBC reported that Christian Benitez, 21, reportedly took his daughter Seniya Benitez from her grandmother’s Bronx home. The grandmother has custody of Seniya, who reportedly has autism. The nature of the dispute between the pair remains unclear.

Christian is reportedly only allowed supervised visits with his toddler daughter. The reason for the supervised visits was undisclosed, though police said Christian doesn’t have a history of violence, according to the news station. Information regarding Seniya’s mother is unknown at this point in time.

The Rockland/Westchester Journal News reported that Christian was last seen on the 6 train at Castle Hill Avenue. Where he was traveling is also currently unknown.

Christian was described as being 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing approximately 160 pounds, and having black hair and brown eyes. He was reportedly last seen wearing black jeans, black sneakers, and a black hooded sweatshirt.

Seniya was described as being approximately 3 feet tall, weighing 35 pounds, and having straight black hair and brown eyes. She was reportedly last seen wearing pajamas, blue jacket, and no shoes.

This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information regarding Christian or Seniya Benitez’s whereabouts can call the New York City Police Department at 866-NYS-AMBER or Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.


[Featured image: Christian and Seniya Benitez/New York Police Department]