Missing Gresham girl found safe; mother arrested

Missing Gresham girl found safe; mother arrested »Play Video
Carmen Alexandria Welch

GRESHAM, Ore. -- Detectives found a 6-year-old girl safe in a motel room and arrested her mother early Sunday.

Carmen Alexandria Welch was reported missing by her mother, Sara Lea Edmond, at her Gresham apartment complex Saturday afternoon. Edmond called 911 at around 3:15 p.m. and said her daughter never showed up to a friend's house as planned.

By Saturday night, the FBI joined Gresham police detectives and dozens of officers from around the Portland area in the search for Carmen.

"We were definitely frustrated," said Detective John Rasmussen. "I think ultimately anger was subsided by the fact that Carmen was found safe. But the frustration remains that this was an unnecessary event created by one woman."

Rasmussen said their investigation took them to the Howard Johnson motel in Gresham, where they found Carmen in a room with her mother just before 3 a.m. Sunday. Police said Carmen was in good health. She was reunited with her father.

Police are investigating why Edmond allegedly lied about her daughter being missing. Her motive is unclear, but police believe it's related to a custody dispute with Carmen's father.

Edmond (right) faces charges including criminal mistreatment, child neglect and filing a false report. She is scheduled to appear in court Monday.