Police continue searching for a two-year-old girl after her mother’s body was found near a playground in a San Francisco, California park. The girl and her mother went missing one week earlier on April 1, according to SF Gate.
KSBW News reports the toddler, Arianna Fitts, was last seen in February, according to San Francisco police officer Grace Gatpandan. The officer also told ABC 7 News that law enforcement was notified on April 5 that Arianna and her mother, Nicole Fitts, 32, had gone missing.
Nicole’s body was found only feet from the playground at John McLaren Park by the Recreation and Park crew at about 9:30 a.m. on Friday, according to SF Gate.
NBC Bay Area News reports that the “condition of the… woman’s body alarmed police, who said they are worried for the safety of the baby, Arianna.”
Thus, police consider Arianna to be at risk, not only due to the murder of her mother, but also because of her very young age, according to KSBW. Police have not released specific details about their investigation and have only said that Nicole was a “victim of homicide.”
Nicole’s sister, Contessa Fitts, told KSBW that Nicole lived in San Francisco and worked at a Best Buy in the city’s Mission District.
NBC Bay Area reports that police sources say Nicole was using the address of the Best Buy to collect mail and that she was to celebrate her one-year anniversary as an employee of the store this weekend.
A co-worker and close friend, Michael Jacobo, 33, also spoke with KSBW, saying his and Nicole’s birthdays were close together, so they planned a summer trip with her children to Disneyland.
None of this makes sense… She was one of the kindest people you would ever meet. She always had a smile on her face. It always stuck with me how kind and shy she was.”
Another of Nicole’s Best Buy co-workers, Dave Spencer, told ABC 7 that she failed to show up for work about one week ago. He added, “We call it, no call, no show. She had a few of those, everyone was wondering ‘what’s going on with Nicole.'”
Spencer noted that Nicole was always concerned about her daughter, noting that she had “trouble keeping her in a safe place while she was at work.” He also told ABC 7 that in the days prior to her disappearance, Nicole had been emotional while on the job. He said that on one instance, in which he was on his break, Nicole “was crying in the hallway, she was going through a hard time.”
Contessa Fitts spoke with NBC Bay Area, saying of her missing niece Arianna, “I’m really trying to stay positive… that someone will know something and bring her home.” She emphasized she is “really scared, according to the report, stating, “I don’t know where she is and who she’s with… I want to believe she’s OK and no one has hurt her.”
Nicole’s sister had no information about Arianna’s father, and police indicate he was not an active part of the child’s life, according to NBC Bay Area.
Nicole has another child who is living with the father’s family in the Los Angeles area, according to ABC 7.
Although police indicate they have no solid leads regarding Nicole’s murder and Arianna’s disappearance, NBC Bay Area notes that investigators were intrigued by a Facebook post that was presumably written by Nicole. The post said she was going away for a while, which friends found to be suspicious. The post is no longer visible, and according to the report, it is “unclear when the… post was put up and taken down.”
Police are asking anyone with information that can help find Arianna to call the San Francisco Police Department tip line at 415-575-4444, and anyone who sees Arianna to immediately call 911.
[Photo via San Francisco Police Department]