Missing 9-year-old Texas girl found at homeless camp near Reno; mother arrested

9-year-old Urijah Livingston (Photo courtesy: Sparks Police Department)

A missing 9-year-old Texas girl has been found safe at a Reno homeless camp, according to Haskell Police Chief Kenny Barnett.

The young girl was found with her mother who does not have custody.

Barnett says U.S. Marshals and police rescued Urijah Livingston, 9, from a remote area south of Verdi on Monday, August 6 at about 10 p.m.

After receiving multiple tips from the public -- police first surveyed the camp by air, where they noticed several tents. With the assistance of the Washoe County Sheriff's Office and The US Forest Service, A SWAT team traveled several hours by ATV to reach the camp, where Ward, her biological mother and two others were taken into custody.

Livingston's mother, 39-year-old Desiree Ward, was arrested and booked into the Washoe County Jail on a charge of interfering with child custody, says Barnett.

Authorities say that Livingston's step mother met up with Ward in Amarillo, Texas on June 20 for temporary visitation. The 9-year-old never returned home in late July.

The girl contacted her step mother in Texas on July 30 and told her "she hadn't showered in over a week and wanted to come home," and that she was living at a homeless camp in Sparks along the Truckee River.

Both the Reno and Sparks police departments have been assisting the Haskell Police Department with this case for over a week.

Barnett confirmed that Livingston's step mother is on her way to Reno to be reunited with the 9-year-old.

David Burns, 60, was arrested at the campsite for one felony count of harboring, concealing and aiding a felon. Tina Reid, 55, was arrested for two felony counts of kidnapping, one felony count of harboring, concealing and aiding a felon.

Another juvenile was safely rescued from the camp, according to the Sparks Police Department.

This is a developing story. Check back with us for updates.


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