U.S. Marshals now involved in search for missing Haskell girl

(from left to right) Urijah Livingston and Desiree Ward

U.S. Marshals are now involved in the search for a missing 9-year-old girl from Haskell.

Haskell Police Chief Ken Bennett said on Friday afternoon that they are still actively looking for the missing child.

"Hopefully we'll find her pretty soon and get her home," Bennett said.

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The Haskell Police Department needs the public's help in finding a child that was abducted by her non-custodial biological mother and may be somewhere in between California and Texas.

Haskell Police Chief Ken Barnett said that 9-year-old Urijah Livingston was abducted by her biological mother, Desiree Ward.

According to authorities, Livingston was living in Haskell with her stepmother, who has full custody of the 9-year-old, but Ward has visitation rights.

Livingston was taken to Amarillo around June 20 by her stepmother so that Ward could have custody of her for the summer.

According to authorities, Ward was reportedly living in Colorado at the time of the temporary custody transfer.

Barnett said that Ward was expected to return Livingston to her adopted mother on July 20, but never showed up, and Livingston’s stepmother could not find her or get in touch with her.

Then on July 30 or July 31, the stepmother received a phone call from the 9-year-old girl claiming that she wanted to come home and "hadn't taken a shower in about a week."

Livingston told her that they were in a homeless camp in Sparks, Nevada, according to Barnett.

Law enforcement in Nevada in both Reno and Sparks were contacted by Barnett for assistance and the Reno Police Department said that Ward had been at a homeless shelter as early as Monday.

Authorities in Reno and Sparks located the cellphone that Livingston called from after pinging it.

The cellphone belonged to a woman who told authorities that she allowed the 9-year-old girl to borrow it, but soon after the phone call was made, Ward took off with Livingston.

Barnett said that Livingston and Ward were last seen on Tuesday in downtown Reno.

Barnett said that he learned on Wednesday that the case did not meet the guidelines necessary to merit an Amber Alert.

Barnett has instead contacted a joint task force with the Texas Department of Public Safety that handles missing child investigations, who are handing out flyers with Livingston's information from Texas to California.

Livingston has also been entered into the national missing child database.

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