Lenore Wilson has gone missing and was likely abducted by babysitter Fatima Gissentaner, authorities in Maine said after issuing an Amber Alert for the missing 3-year-old girl.
Residents in Maine were alerted to the toddler’s disappearance on Tuesday afternoon, with a text message being sent at close to 1:30 p.m. alerting them of the Augusta girl’s disappearance. The story quickly spread through media outlets and on social media.
Police said Lenore Wilson, who goes by Lenny, disappeared at close to 7 a.m. on Tuesday. Emergency crews had responded to the girl’s home for a medical emergency but found that Lenore was gone, WCSH reported. Police believe the girl was taken by Fatima Gissentaner, who had been in the apartment earlier.
The exact relationship between Gissentaner and Wilson was not disclosed, but some media outlets noted that Gissentaner had looked after for the girl in the past.
Lenore Wilson’s mother was taken to a local hospital after the medical call to her home, though her exact condition has not been disclosed. It is also unclear why the girl’s mother was sent to the hospital or if she had any connection to the girl’s disappearance.
Police have expanded their search for Lenore Wilson, sending out details both to residents and local media outlets in the hope of finding some clue to her whereabouts. The news outlet WCSH alerted viewers about the girl’s disappearance.
“Police say Lenny is with Fatima Gissentaner who goes by the nickname China. Gissentaner is a slim black woman who police say occasionally cares for Lenny. The two were last seen at an Augusta apartment at 26 Sewall street.
“Police say Gissentaner, who is from New York, may be in with her boyfriend who goes by the street name ‘Dollar.'”
Police in Augusta had reportedly already spoken to Gissentaner early on Tuesday, and the 26-year-old said she had taken Lenore Wilson after her mother’s medical emergency. Gissentaner was supposed to bring the girl to a police station around midday but never came, WMUR reported.
The disappearance of Lenore Wilson has quickly garnered national attention. In the hours after the Amber Alert first went out to residents in Maine, many national groups picked up the information about the missing girl and spread it around online, posting on social media and sharing pictures and contact information for police.
The search for Lenore Wilson comes one week after another Amber Alert ended in tragedy. In Indiana, police have accused mother Amber Pasztor of asphyxiating her two young children — 7-year-old Liliana Hernandez and 6-year-old Rene Pasztor — after abducting them.
Police said Amber Pasztor, who does not have custody of the children, abducted them near Fort Wayne and hours later alerted a police officer in Allen County that her children were dead inside the car. The officer found the children’s bodies in the back seat, and Pasztor was arrested.
A probable cause affidavit showed that Pasztor admitted to smothering her children to death, the Indianapolis Star reported. Pasztor is also a suspect in the shooting death of 65-year-old Frank Macomber, who was initially named in the Amber Alert along with Pasztor. Police said it was Macomber’s car that Pasztor drove after abducting the children.
Amber Pasztor faces up to 65 years in prison on the murder charges, but could also see the death penalty, the Indianapolis Star reported. Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill said he has not yet decided whether to pursue the death penalty.
Pasztor has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and her lawyer may be seeking a hearing to see if she is competent to face trial.
Anyone with information about the disappearance of Lenore Wilson or Fatima Gissentaner is asked to call the Augusta Police Department at 207-620-8383.
[Featured Image by Augusta Police Department]