JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says they've received more than a dozen tips since a 6-year-old girl was abducted by her non-custodial mother late Friday, but have not been able to locate either of them.
A statewide Amber Alert is out for out for Onnika Fisher, who the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says was taken from a Southside office park late Friday.
Fisher had just finished a visit with her mother supervised by a Florida Division of Children and Families employee at a Jewish Family and Community Services on Dupont Station Court when the 39-year-old woman, Charity Chatman, grabbed her daughter by the hand, placed her in her vehicle and drove off, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
Investigators say Chatman was alone in the car. They have issued a be-on-the-lookout for her and the car, and have officers searching specific areas. Chatman is known to frequent the area where the abduction happened, along with downtown Jacksonville and the beaches.
According to JSO Assistant Chief Chris Butler, they have received 15 tips, including possible sightings, but none have led to the safe recovery of Fisher. JSO has issued an arrest warrant for Chatman for interference with custody.
"Our main concern is the safety and the safe return of Onnika," Butler says. "If any information could be given from the public to lead us to tips we'd really appreciate that."
Chatman lost custody of the child six weeks ago and has a history of mental illness.
"We don't have any indications that she is in danger, but I'm not trying to minimize the seriousness of this. Here you have a mother who basically the custody was removed from her," Butler said. "She no longer has custody of Onnika. She has sent emails that I would term to be delusional. So, anything is possible."
Butler said Chatman was last seen wearing a red baseball hat, green jacket and blue jeans. She was seen driving away with her daughter in what they believe was a dark green 2000 Buick Century with Ohio license plate FPA4958.
Police say Fisher is at 3 feet 10 inches tall and weights 53 pounds. She was last seen wearing blue jeans and a pink jacket with white polka dots on the inside collar.
Investigators say they are continuing to follow up with family members and other members of the community that may have had contact with Fisher or Chatman.
"We have spoken to the father of Onnika. I believe he lives somewhere down in the southern part of the state. He was very cooperative," Chief Butler said.
Police added that Chatman is know to frequent Red Roof Inns.
John Harrell, a spokesman for the Department of Children and Families, said a case worker was about 2-3 feet away from Chatman when she suddenly grabbed the child, put her into the back seat behind the driver's seat and took off. Originally DCF reported the case worker was 15 feet away, but that distance was revised after officials followed up with the case worker on Saturday.
Harrell said Chatman told the case worker she had Christmas gifts for the child, which may have been the bait to lure the child closer to the car.
Channel 4 learned through court records that Chatman was recently evicted from her home for non-payment of rent. In November, Chatman was served in with a injunction against repeat domestic violence.
Anyone with any information about the girl's whereabouts is urged to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or FDLE's Missing and Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse at 850-410-7000.
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