Search continues for missing 1-year-old in Connecticut

ANSONIA, Conn. (AP) — The search for a missing 1-year-old girl whose mother was found dead in her home continued Friday as authorities urged anyone with knowledge of the case to come forward.

The child, Vanessa Morales, has been missing since Monday.

“We, along with the FBI, Derby police, Connecticut State Police, are still following leads to locate Vanessa and locate her safely,” Ansonia Police Lt. Patrick Lynch said late Thursday. “We are not looking to arrest or start criminal proceedings against whoever has Vanessa, we just want to know where he is and that she is safe and well.”

In the Thursday news conference, Lynch also identified the mother as Christine Halloway, 43, who was found dead inside the home in Ansonia. A medical examiner’s report concluded she died from blunt force trauma.

Authorities previously said the girl’s name was spelled Venessa due to a clerical error, Lynch said.

Jose Morales, the father of Vanessa, was arrested Tuesday by New Haven police for alleged illegal possession of two stun guns. Since he is a convicted felon, he is not allowed to possess weapons. He was jailed in New Haven on a $250,000 bond. Police said his arrest is unrelated to the girl’s disappearance and he is cooperating with investigators.

Police sent an Amber Alert for Vanessa Morales on Wednesday. She is described as 2-foot-2, weighing about 17 pounds and having brown hair and eyes.

Lynch said investigators have recovered evidence from a donation center in Hamden and are searching donation bins in Derby as well.

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