Local News

Police use drone to locate missing 2-year-old in Freetown

The toddler went missing following a stabbing incident involving her mother earlier in the day.

Members of the Dartmouth Police Department located a missing toddler in the woods in Freetown using a drone.

On Dec. 16, Dartmouth police’s drone unit responded to Freetown to assist with the search for a 2-year-old. Within 15 minutes, Officer Justin Medeiros found a heat signature about a quarter mile away from where the child was last seen using a drone with a thermal camera. 

Sgt. Scott Stanton was guided to the location in the woods where he recovered the child, police said. The child was transported to a nearby hospital due to her prolonged exposure to the rain and cold temperature, Freetown police said.


“This incident was the perfect example of where the crossroads of technology and good teamwork came together,” Dartmouth Chief of Police Brian Levesque said in a statement. “Had it not been for the use of our drone, and the excellent communication between my two officers, the outcome of this incident would have most likely been grave.”

The 2-year-old went missing when her mother, Angel-Leah Duarte, was taken into custody in connection with a stabbing the same day. Freetown police said. 

Freetown police officers received a call from a resident who reported that a neighbor, covered in blood, was at the resident’s door. Officers found a 61-year-old woman suffering from a stab wound to the face, and identified Duarte as the suspect.

Police proceeded to Duarte’s home where they discovered that she had fled, on foot, accompanied by her 2-year-old daughter. After a search, police found Duarte and took her into custody. Her daughter remained unaccounted for until several hours later, police said.

Duarte was charged with attempted murder and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. On Monday, Duarte was ordered held pending the results of a mental health evaluation scheduled for Thursday.


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