GRESHAM, Ore. -- A nine-year-old girl reported missing Monday night has been found safe and has been reunited with her family, according to Gresham Police.
Elisa Salmeron was found in an abandoned house with several other children, two of them runaways, police said.
Police earlier said that Elisa was last seen by her family around 9:30 p.m. at her home near 162nd Avenue and Burnside Street.
Later, police said the family told them she went to take out the trash about 11 p.m., then vanished. No explanation was offered for the time discrepancy.
She appears about 11:30 p.m. in TriMet footage showing her on a MAX platform near her apartment complex, Gresham police said.
She apparently bought a ticket with the help of two people, boarded a westbound train, and the group got off the train together at the 148th Avenue station and walked away. The pair turned out to be runaway children. It was not clear if Elisa knew them.
She was found in an abandoned home near 142nd and Burnside, police said. There were three other children in the home, including a pre-teen, police said.
A viewer watching the morning news saw the group and called police.
The family says they don't recognize the people the girl was with, and they also don't recognize the black rolling suitcase she appears to have with her in the MAX platform photo.
“My mom’s having a lot of breakdowns," said big sister Lily. “It was maybe 5 minutes and we didn’t see her come back, we thought it was hide and seek as usual, and we couldn’t find her, so, we asked our neighbors if they’ve seen her. Nothing.”
"She laughs so much, she’s goofy, she loves to play around, she has the stupidest jokes ever. She’ll put a smile on your face even when you’re upset.”
“The thing is, she’s friendly, she’s trusting, and that’s the bad part when you’re trying to protect her,” said mom Rosa. “I gave birth to her, she was a gift. The thing is, I can’t live without her. I don’t want to. She needs to be home.”