By Nadin Abbott; photos by Tom Abbott
April 5, 2013(Lakeside)— The Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) team has found 3-month-old Arisa Van Goerlitz safe tonight at 7:30 p.m. following a massive search in Lakeside. Searchers spent hours combing an area along the San Diego River bed including transient camps before locating the infant and her aunt, Deborah Ann Fowler, who has been arrested.
“The baby is okay,” Sergeant Greg Hampton of the Lemon Grove Sheriff’s station told media at the scene. “She is being evaluated by the Fire Department.” The baby was later transported to Grossmont Hospital for evaluation. The child is now in the hands of Child Protective Services and has been taken to the Polinsky’s Children Center.
The infant girl was reported missing this morning by her grandmother, Joyce Matyas, in Spring Valley at around 11:30.
Fowler has been booked into Las Colinas after questioning. She is charged with vehicle theft and may also face charges of child endangerment pending completion of the investigation, said Sergeant Hampton.
The search area was located west of State Route 67, south of Lakeside Drive and north of Channel Road. This was a perimeter set by the Santee Sheriffs Deputies when the call originally came in that the grandmother’s vehicle was found in the area, as well as the baby’s stroller.
At this point,the Sheriff Department contacted Fowler’s boyfriend, a transient. He was fully cooperative with authorities and was not under suspicion, ECM was told.
Fowler’s twin sister, the mother of the child, is incarcerated and the grandmother has custody, ECM news partner 10 News reports. It is unclear why Fowler took the infant.
The Sergeant said that there were upwards of 60 people doing the active search, and another 40 waiting for assignments. Searchers came from the Sheriffs Dept, the Search and Rescue Team and the Border Patrol BORSTAR Team.
It was a good feeling, Hampton indicated, since “everybody is safe and there were no injuries that we know of.”