What to Know
- An AMBER Alert for 1-year-old Vanessa Morales after her mother was found dead in a home in Ansonia
- Police are investigating her mother's death as a homicide
- Anyone with information about Vanessa is asked to call the Ansonia Police Department at 203-735-1885 or the FBI at 203-503-5555
Police continue to search for a missing 1-year-old baby girl after finding her mother dead in their Ansonia home Monday night and said they are investigating tips after issuing an Amber Alert for the baby on Wednesday afternoon.
The mother has been identified as 43-year-old Christine Halloway. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma and the manner of death homicide.
The last time family members saw 1-year-old Vanessa Morales was Friday night, according to police. On Thursday, her aunt Anna made a plea for her safe return.
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“We the family would like to ask for anyone in our communities and beyond us to help bring Vanessa home safely," Morales' aunt said. "We desperately need anyone that may be with baby Vanessa to keep her safe, unharmed and get her back to us quickly.”
Police said the investigation began when they responded to the home on Myrtle Avenue around 1 p.m. Monday after getting a request for a welfare check when Halloway did not show up for work or call in sick. When the officers went to the home, they said they received no answer.
Later in the evening, officers were called back to the home around 7:30 p.m. after Halloway's family called them to report they had not heard from her.
When officers arrived at the home, they said they forced their way in and found Halloway dead. There was no sign of her 1-year-old daughter police said.
When asked Thursday if there are suspects in the homicide, police said they are pursuing leads.
“We have some things that are pointing us in the direction that’s helping us with the homicide investigation,” Ansonia Police Chief Andrew Cota said Thursday morning.
Police initially issued a Silver Alert for Vanessa, then issued an Amber Alert on Wednesday afternoon.
Police said they initially issued a Silver Alert rather than an Amber Alert because they do not have a description of a vehicle or person the baby might be with, or a potential destination.
Vanessa has brown hair and brown eyes. No information was available on what she might be wearing. Police believe she might be in Connecticut and said they don't have any indication that she was taken out of state.
“We believe that she is with someone safe, and we want to make it a priority that they understand whatever circumstances that they have received Vanessa, just bring her back to us so we know she’s safe,” Ansonia Police Lt. Patrick Lynch said at a press conference Thursday.
Police said they followed a lead in Stratford, but it turned up empty. On Thursday Ansonia Police were in Hamden as part of the ongoing investigation.
State police and the FBI are helping with the search for Vanessa. Police said they are following leads and that their priority in the case is to find Vanessa.
They are asking anyone with information to provide tips. Anyone with information is asked to call the Ansonia Police Department at 203-735-1885 or the FBI at 203-503-5555.
Editor's note: There have been multiple spellings released of the baby's name. As of Thursday, police said her birth certificate has her name as Vanessa. The story above has been updated to reflect this.