Family finds missing Washington Park girl

April 7, 2010 2:28:47 PM PDT
A 6-year-old girl who disappeared while playing in Washington Park was found safe and sound at a home nearby.

Sheneka Cole was taken to Comer's Children Hospital to be checked out by doctors, but her family said she does not appear to have been injured. Sheneka, 6, was reported missing by her family around 7 p.m. Tuesday. She was last seen playing with other children in Washington Park, which is across the street from her family's home and was missing for more than 18 hours.

She was found in apartment less than a block away at 60th and Rhodes. Two girls pointed searchers in the right direction.

"We told them they were looking for a little girl. They said they had a child upstairs. She was sound asleep on the couch like she had a rough night," said Lee Key, who found the missing girl.

Family, friends and dozens of volunteers searched for Sheneka. They handed out fliers and the police department's marine unit was called in to search the lagoon. The people who had Sheneka said they didn't realize there was a search at the park.

"They ran from the gunshots. They heard a gunfight and came home with her. They didn't want to come back out and bring her home because the things that was going on outside," said Rod Macklin, who found the missing girl.

"We was just praying and hoping that she was all right. Now that she is all right, it is all good now," said Robin Snead, Sheneka's cousin.

Police said it is common for children Sheneka's age to run off with friends, fall asleep and spend the night at someone else's home before the friend's parents even realize they're there.

The home where Sheneka was found doesn't have a TV and it wasn't until the two girls who brought her home went outside that they realized people were looking for the child.