Update: 12-year-old reported missing from Reagan National is found safe
On Friday, authorities said they are looking for the girl who they called a “critical missing juvenile.”
Ma was visiting from China as part of a tour group that was sightseeing and looking at schools in the United States since July 26, authorities said. At the airport, the child said she needed to use the restroom. She then met with an unknown middle-aged Asian woman, authorities said. The girl exited the restroom in different clothes, and walked with the woman toward the arrivals area of the airport, authorities said.
Ma and the woman were later seen entering a white Infiniti vehicle with New York tags, David Huchler, chief of police for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, said during a news conference Thursday afternoon.
Officials issued a photo of the car and of a man and woman who may be involved. They also put out a photo showing the girl walking with the woman.
MWAA authorities said in a statement that the child got into a white Infiniti QX70, a 2016 or 2018 model.
Huchler said the woman was seen with a male before she met with the child. Officials also think a man was driving the vehicle the child left in.
Huchler called the incident “very serious.” Officials do not know why Ma left the airport with the woman.
On Friday, Huchler said at the news conference that the girl excused herself to go to the bathroom as the group she was with were checking in with passports. Police said that the child may have been approached by the man and woman in New York as well.
MWAA is working with Virginia State Police and the National Center for Exploited Children, and are attempting to contact the Chinese Embassy, he said.
“It’s really important that the community recognizes this child may be in danger,” Huchler said, urging those with information to contact authorities.
Anyone with information is being asked to call the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority at 703-417-2400 or Virginia State Police at 1-800-822-4453.