Police have uncovered a large amount of information after a missing North Carolina girl was found in Washington D.C. following the murder of her grandparents.
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The Washington Post reports Arieyana Forney, 11, was found Sunday (Apr. 2) after the Washington D.C. Metro police issued an Amber Alert for a white Chevy Impala the same day. A female from inside the vehicle called 911, giving its exact location. Police chased the car, leading to a crash in the Tidal Basin area. The child’s uncle, Curtis Atkinson Jr., was arrested on local charges while Nikkia Cooper, 26, was arrested on drug charges. It isn’t known if the child or Cooper called the police about their location.
“The D.C. Metro Police flooded that area and were looking for this car, our white Impala, that we’d been broadcasting and were able to locate that car and they were able to take the occupants of that car into custody and recover Arieyana safely,” CMPD Maj. Mike Smathers told WSOCTV.
Police began their search for Arieyana earlier that day after her grandparents were found dead in an attempted arson at their home in East Charlotte, North Carolina. Her grandfather, Curtis S. Atkinson, Sr., 63, was found with a gunshot wound while her grandmother Ruby B. Atkinson, 62, was found with other injures. Police plan on charging Atkinson Jr. with murder.
After speaking to Arieyana, investigators believe the child may have witnessed the murders and remained in the house with her uncle from Thursday to the day she was taken to D.C. Arieyana’s grandparents were considered to be her legal guardians. The child’s father, Atkinson Jr.’s brother, was murdered in an unsolved case from 2013. No motive has been determined for the death of Arieyana’s grandparents.