MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Police handed out fliers Wednesday hoping to generate more clues into who was behind the abduction, and eventual safe return, of a 4-year-old girl in Miami.
Officers hit the streets and went door-to-door handing out sketches of two men who police would like to talk to in connection with the case.
The little girl mysteriously disappeared Friday afternoon and then just as mysteriously, showed up at her Little Haiti apartment Sunday morning just before dawn.
The men and women who live near her feel passionately that whoever abducted her needs to be caught, especially before kids get out of school for winter break.
“For Christmas, a lot of kids going to be running around. Wow. Get him dog, find him, turn him in!” said neighbor Edward McClain.
Miami Police spokeswoman Ofc. Frederica Burden said police have received many tips, but really need to find the two people shown in the witness sketches.
“We do have leads from our tip line but we like to go door to door to let people know it is okay to talk. We don’t have to have your name, if you have any information just give it to us and we’ll go from there.”
Police still don’t know where she was during the 36 hours she was gone, but her family is thankful she’s back.
“I’m happy I’m happy. Thank you God. Thank you God,” said the child’s mother, Estelle, who told CBS4 she has not stopped crying since her baby went missing. “I cry all the time, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, I cry.”
“My daughter come in the door she say ‘Mommy, Mommy, Mommy open for me I need some juice’, I say wow,” recalled her father, Joseph.
The child disappeared from her front yard Friday afternoon while playing on her tricycle outside her family’s apartment.
A suspicious man was seen right before she disappeared.
After a desperate search throughout the weekend, witnesses spotted a stranger with the girl in front of her house around 5:30 Sunday morning.
“The two witnesses were confronting the man who had the girl in his custody he told the little girl to go inside her home the police were called,” said Frederica Burden with Miami Police.
The man took off, and investigators are still working to identify him.
Police released sketches of both men seen before and after her return.
It is possible the men in both composite sketches are the same person.
“We need to find out who took her who brought her back,” said Sgt. Freddie Cruz, with Miami Police. “We’re not clear if it’s one person or two people who are involved in this case,” he added.
The child’s godmother, Elena Gaffrard said the little girl came home frightened with her hair messy. “She was scared she said she was hungry,” said Gaffrard.
The family is just thankful she’s home.
“I say God thank you, I say police thank you, everybody thank you because you’re working hard to find my baby I’m very happy,” said Joseph.
He said he is disappointed it took so long to find his baby. He and the girl’s sister say whoever took the child should pay for what they did.
“The man should go to jail for life,” said Kinesha, the girls sister.
Anyone with information on Shaniya’s disappearance is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477) or visit their website at crimestoppersmiami.com.