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Car snatch toddler is found safe

‘Perfect’:
Family tell
of relief as
ordeal
ends for
17-month-old
Maria
Tudorica

A TODDLER abducted by a thief who drove away in her father’s car was found safe four hours later after an urgent police appeal.

Maria Tudorica was in the front passenger seat when the car was snatched just after 4.30pm yesterday in Newham, east London.

The black Audi A5 was later found abandoned and empty, prompting desperate appeals for help tracking down 17-month-old Maria.

It was not until shortly before 8pm that she was found safe a few streets away and returned to her family.

Scotland Yard said: ‘Delighted to report that missing Maria has now been found safe and well in the Ruskin Avenue area.

‘Thanks to media and all members of the public who have helped with this appeal.’

Maria’s uncle Gheorghe Stelica told Sky News she was ‘perfect, perfect, perfect’ after being found safe and well.

A frantic search was launched after the girl’s father David had arranged to meet with what he thought was a potential buyer for the car who then drove it off with Maria inside.

Mr Tudorica said he was living ‘every parent’s worst nightmare’ as police said she was at ‘high risk’. Scotland Yard said no arrests have been made.