Brooklyn Park police: Missing 11-year-old found but investigation ongoing

A home on the 8000 block of Queen Ave in Brooklyn Park
A home on the 8200 block of Queen Avenue in Brooklyn Park has been deemed uninhabitable and there is an open investigation connected to the family that lived there.
Jiwon Choi | MPR News

An alert neighbor found an 11-year-old Brooklyn Park girl safe in Bloomington nearly 12 hours after her mother reported she had run away after the two argued early Monday.

Police removed the girl and her three siblings from the home, which the city had declared uninhabitable. They were placed in protective custody Monday evening, said Brooklyn Park Deputy Chief Mark Bruley.

Bruley said the mother, whom he did not name, was taken to a hospital after officers determined "she was in need of medical care."

MPR News is not naming the missing child because of the pending investigation related to possible abuse and neglect.

Bruley said officers have been called to the home in the 8200 block of Queen Avenue North previously on calls related to juveniles.

"They were aware of an ongoing death investigation of an 8-year-old at that residence last February," Bruley said. That investigation is ongoing, he said.

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Neighbors Marilyn Harris and George Mazoko told MPR News that they found the missing 11-year-old girl sitting outside of a clinic in Bloomington. The couple had gone to the clinic for an appointment and encountered the girl upon leaving, at which point the girl asked them for a ride to Brooklyn Park.

Harris said she recognized the girl from seeing her around the Brooklyn Park neighborhood and that she thought the girl might have recognized the couple's Jeep in the clinic parking lot.

According to the couple, the girl said a friend's mother had dropped her off at the clinic but did not tell them anything else.

Mazoko said that police had been present at the girl's home before they left for the clinic.

"We didn't think of taking her to the police or taking her to call 911 because we knew the police (were) here," he said.

Police were called to the home about 3 a.m. on a report that she had run away. She was last seen walking away from the area after a disagreement with her mother.

One sibling was found in the home, one was staying at a friend's home and a third was found "living in the park,'' Bruley said.

A group of teachers from a nearby school were also searching for the girl and Bruley applauded the efforts of the community members who helped in their efforts to locate the child.