Amber Alert canceled for 10-year-old girl allegedly abducted by mother in Manhattan

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, September 18, 2015
10-year-old girl taken from school found after Amber Alert
Tim Fleischer has the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Police have canceled an Amber Alert in connection with a 10-year-old girl who was abducted in Manhattan, allegedly by her non-custodial mother.

Authorites had said Celine Melanie Hicks was last seen around 1 p.m. Wednesday at Castle Middle School on Henry Street on the Lower East Side. She was with her mother, who picked her up from her school. But the mother does not have custody of Hicks, who has been in the care of an aunt and uncle since she was 2 years old.

During that time period, she had always been permitted to see her biological parents and even traveled with them. Recently, the aunt filed an order of protection against the mother.

Police have identified the suspects as 42-year-old Carlos Hicks and 40-year-old Jacqueline Hendricks.

On September 9, a court issued a temporary order, stipulating the child "cannot be interfered with" by either of the biological parents.

The school was made aware, however, preliminary investigation indicates that because of a clerical error, only the biological father was listed on the paperwork ordering she not be released to him. The biological mother was not listed.

So at around 1 p.m. Wednesday, the biological mother and an unidentified female entered Castle Middle School to get the child, and the child was released.

The father, Carlos Hicks, was not involved with the initial pickup. The case was reported by the aunt via a 911 call at 6:16 p.m.

NYPD officers had phone contact with the father later that night. The only prior interaction with the family is a verbal dispute between the girl and her parents earlier this month. It is possible that occurred around the time of the aunt's actions.

The Education Department is investigating.

The Amber Alert was canceled around 2 p.m. Thursday, and police say the child was found safe and sound.

Authorities say the NYPD was advised by the attorney for the mother where to find the girl. Officers responded to that location, and the child was recovered unharmed.

The lawyer then facilitated the turnover of the mother to detectives. She was transported to Harlem Hospital for an unknown medical condition. After she is treated, she will be questioned by detectives.

The father is not being charged at this time, and the investigation is ongoing.