Missing girl found after being separated from family on Brooklyn subway

Josh Einiger Image
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
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Josh Einiger reports from outside her family's home in East New York.

BROWNSVILLE, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Authorities have found a little girl who got separated from her family at a subway station in Brooklyn Tuesday morning.

9-year-old Klara Alston's strange journey ended in a sunny playground on the Upper East Side.

On a hot summer afternoon, she was sitting on the ground all alone.

"She looked like maybe she was homeless or separated from her family," said Pilar Bartlett, an eyewitness.

Bartlett, there with her own kids, says two other moms had approached Klara, and called police.

"It looked like the moms had done a really nice job making her feel comfortable, they were there to help," Bartlett said. "Looked a little dirty, like she need to be reunited with her family."

"Did she seem upset?" Eyewitness News asked.

"No, she looked confused," said Joseph Jones, an eyewitness.

The odyssey started miles away in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Police say Klara's 11- and 12-year-old brothers were supposed to walk her to the Sutter Avenue train station, to meet up with their uncle.

But the boys left her there and the uncle never showed, and she evidently got on a train.

Police hunted the neighborhood for hours. Her grandmother was terrified.

"This area is bad, so I hope to God that nothing tragic has happened to her. I hope that whoever has her will please turn her in to any precinct," her grandmother had said.

To get from the L stop at Sutter Avenue to that park at 68th and 1st on Manhattan's Upper East Side, she would have had to change trains and then walk several blocks.

When they arrived at the park, cops from the 19th precinct recognized her, and used FaceTime to link her up with her dad.

The family is incredibly lucky she wound up in such a friendly place.

"She probably was walking for a while and saw a bunch of kids, and the safest place to go is a bunch of other kids. So that makes sense," Jones said.