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Investigation continues into disappearance of 5-year-old Madison County girl

Girl was found safe, deputies still investigating events
Posted at 1:50 PM, Jul 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 16:33:02-04

MADISON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — An investigation is ongoing into what led to an AMBER Alert for a 5-year-old Madison County girl who was found safe after going missing from a motel room last week.

The Madison County Sheriff's Office says Naomi Rose Herring has been found safe after disappearing from the Deerwood Inn located at 155 St. Augustine Road, near the I-10 interchange of South State Road 53 at approximately 1:59 a.m. on Monday, July 13.

Upon arrival, deputies were informed that 5-year-old Naomi Herring was last seen asleep in one of the motel rooms at approximately 12:30 a.m. along with another child in the care of an adult male.

The sheriff's office originally reported that Naomi was with her mother. However, they issued a correction on Monday, July 20 clarifying that Naomi was actually with her aunt.

"Prior to Naomi being reported missing, she was reportedly in the care and custody of her Aunt and had been since approximately 5:00 PM Sunday July 12th," the sheriff's office wrote in a statement.

According to Naomi’s mother, she received a call around 10 p.m. and was told that that Naomi was sleeping and would be returned in the morning.
Sometime after 1:00 a.m., Naomi’s mother received another call asking if she had picked Naomi up because she was missing.

At some point during the night, deputies say Naomi’s aunt left her asleep in a motel room at the Deerwood Inn with another child and adult male.

When Naomi’s aunt returned to the motel room at approximately 1:20 a.m., she found the door to be closed but unlocked. When she went in, it was discovered that the adult male and child were sleeping but Naomi was gone.

Around 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Naomi was found safe at cabin 101 at Ragans Family Campground near the motel where she was last seen.

Deputies say the events leading up to Naomi’s disappearance and subsequent safe recovery remain under investigation.

At this time, FDLE says they believe Naomi left Deerfield Inn on her own, looking for her mother, and wandered into the nearby campground, roughly a mile away from the Inn.