Titusville Amber Alert canceled weeks after report of girl being shoved in SUV

Police cite lack of evidence to continue investigation

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor

TITUSVILLE, Fla. - Titusville police announced Monday that an area Amber Alert has been canceled due to lack of evidence in an investigation that began when a woman reported that she had seen a teenage girl being shoved into an SUV.

The Amber Alert was issued on May 15 after a witness reported a possible abduction in the area of Barna Avenue and Kings Court.

"A girl was just walking down the street and this car stopped and pulled her into the car and she was screaming and they drove off. I'm not even sure what kind of car it was, it was so fast," the woman told a 911 operator.

The woman described the vehicle as a charcoal-colored SUV and said the girl appeared to be 12 to 15 years old, about 5 feet 5 inches tall with dreadlocks and one blonde stripe in her hair, reports show.

Police said no girl matching that description had been reported missing in the area, but officials investigated a possible connection to a missing child case in Miami. The girl in that case, 17-year-old Diana Bellegarde, bore a striking similarity to the composite sketch.

Bellegarde has since been found safe.

"The Titusville Police Department wishes to thank the community for their support with this investigation," authorities said in a news release.  

Police said they're frustrated as they shift their attention away from an active investigation.

"It's discouraging. You want to have a resolution, positive or negative," Lt. Chris DeLoach said. "We haven't been able to do that in either way in this case."

The day the Amber Alert was issued, Sharon Charles-Smith said her 8-year-old son went outside and was out of her sight long enough to scare her.

After locating him safely, she had a talk with him.

"I wanted to make sure that he understands (that) I need to know where he is and that it's a scary world out there," Charles-Smith said.

The Titusville mother said she wants police to continue actively investigating the incident.

"I know they can't do things forever, but if there's something that's happened, it really needs to be found out," she said.

Despite being at a dead end, police said they're still hoping for tips. Anyone with information is asked to call Titusville police or leave an anonymous tip with Crimeline by calling 800-423-8477.

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