YORK COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvania State Police have arrested the York woman who stole a car with a toddler inside on Sunday afternoon, prompting a statewide Amber Alert.
The Amber Alert was canceled after 7 p.m. on Sunday after 2-year-old Mya Campbell was found in Philadelphia, and the search for Maria McKenzie has come to an end as of Friday, June 10, 2022 at 5:06 p.m.
McKenzie is currently incarcerated in Philadelphia until she can be extradited to York County.
McKenzie is a white female, five feet six inches tall, 100 lbs, with blonde hair, and blue eyes last seen wearing a brown jacket. A new picture of McKenzie was released on Tuesday showing her with several neck and face tattoos, ear gauges, and red hair.
Police say McKenzie did not know Campbell or her family and that she took the car while waiting for her father to pick her up.
Springettsbury Township Police tell abc27 that Campbell’s mother was barely inside the gas station when the car with Mya inside was stolen. McKenzie was identified by her own father when police began searching for the vehicle with Mya inside.
“He viewed the video surveillance and said, yes that was my daughter who took that vehicle,” Springettsbury Township Police Chief Todd King.
While McKenzie was at large, she has been charged with felony kidnapping, unlawful restraint of a minor, false imprisonment of a minor, interference with custody of children, and theft by unlawful taking.
Springettsbury Township Police said just after 3:15 p.m. on Sunday a car was stolen from a Royal Farms gas station at the corner of Concord and Mt. Zion Rd with 2-year-old Mya inside. Police and the York County CARE team responded, gathering information about the little girl and the car from the family.
The car was identified in the Amber Alert as a silver 2005 Suzuki XL7 bearing Pennsylvania registration LXG5500. Police used surveillance video from Royal Farms to identify McKenzie as the suspect.
Police said they received information McKenzie was heading to Philadelphia and alerted law enforcement there. Just before 6:30 p.m., police in Philadelphia found the car and the 2-year-old girl safe and healthy. She was taken to an area hospital as a precaution, and police said she has been reunited with her family.
“We had information out very quickly, not only through Amber Alert but social media, and the public was a huge asset,” said King. “We got a lot of information that came in, we followed up with those tips that came in and I would say, yes thank goodness that it came out to the positive outcome that it did.”
King says Sunday’s incident is a “prime example” of why a child should never be left alone in a car, saying it took “a matter of seconds for this child to be whisked away.”
According to Pennsylvania State Police say in 2021 there were 171 incidents of children being left alone in vehicles at casinos and there have already been 74 incidents this year.
King says it’s still to be determined whether Campbell’s mother will be charged for leaving her in the vehicle unattended.
Anyone with information about the abduction or McKenzie’s location should contact the police. You can also submit a tip through Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers by clicking here.