Paramedics took her to Bellevue Hospital for an evaluation. She was in good physical condition, police said.
Ava’s father, 24-year-old Robert Byrne, was taken into custody. Police believe he abducted her from her Vine St. home in Nescopeck, Pennsylvania., early Friday morning. He does not have legal custody of the child. Police sources said a traffic agent saw Byrne’s 2004 Silver Hyundai Elantra with Pennsylvania license plates roll past the corner shortly after an Amber Alert was sent out about the abduction.
The traffic agent, M.T. Ali, said he was conducting his normal rounds when a motorist told him the car that was the subject of the Amber Alert was two cars behind him at a stop light.
Ali checked his phone, confirmed the license plate matched the missing car and went over to the Elantra and directed him to pull over.
All four windows of the car were rolled down.
“I looked into the car and the girl wasn’t crying, but she looked scared,” Ali said.
As Byrne pulled over, Ali called his base, which directed him to radio police.
Bryne then picked up little Ava and left the car and started walking away, carrying the toddler in his arms.
Alarmed, Ali flagged two officers passing in a patrol car.
The cops, Officer Sean Mooney and Officer Rui Sanches, then stopped Byrne and questioned him.
“We told him to stop and started inquiring who the girl was,” Mooney said. “He seemed very flustered. He was very hesitant to answer questions.”
The cops asked Byrne to turn over Ava to them, and he complied.
“He just gave us the little girl, and we immediately handcuffed him,” Mooney said.
Byrne was being held at the 10th Precinct. Charges are pending.