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Amber Alert canceled: Missing 2-year-old girl found, father in custody

Posted at 7:30 AM, Jan 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-16 22:41:20-05

THE BRONX — A 2-year-old girl with autism who went missing in the Bronx after her father allegedly abducted her has been found, police said.

Police are searching for missing 2-year-old Seniya Benitez (left), who was last seen with her father, Christian Benitez, (right) in the Bronx.

Christian Benitez, her father, was charged with reckless endangerment and custodial interference.

"The child was taken under circumstances that lead police to believe that they are in imminent danger of serious physical injury and/or death," the alert said.

Before she went missing, Seniya Benitez was last seen with her father, 21, on Tuesday afternoon at an apartment along Gleason and Castle Hill avenues.

He is not permitted to have unsupervised contact with the toddler, according to police.

Seniya's grandmother told PIX11 that she had gotten into an argument with the 2-year-old girl's father before he took off with her.

"We got into an argument and he started cursing at me and then he said he was taking Seniya," Maria D'Amore said. "I tried to stop him and he pushed me and threw me on the floor and ran out of the house with her."

Before he took off with Seniya, D'Amore said Benitez told her he "didn't care about ACS, he didn't care about the foster care agency, he didn't care about what I said. That that was his daughter and that he was going to do whatever he wanted with her and that he was leaving with her."

D'Amore says Benitez has family in Rhode Island but no vehicle.

Police have found missing 2-year-old Seniya Benitez (left) and her father (right.) He's been arrested and charged.

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).