PALM BEACH, Fla. (WANE) — The grandmother and aunt of Aaliyah Ramirez, who went missing more than four months ago, have been arrested after the 14-year-old Syracuse girl was found safe in Florida.
Syracuse Police said Ramirez was found safe Friday in the area of Lake Worth Beach in Palm Beach County. U.S. Marshals reportedly spotted her getting into a vehicle, and marshals and Palm Beach County deputies recovered her.
Aaliyah’s grandmother, 47-year-old Elizabeth Sands of Palm Beach County, and her aunt, 25-year-old Allissa Sands of Marion County, Indiana, were taken into custody by U.S. Marshals and deputies on warrants out of Kosciuscko County.
They face charges of Interference with Custody (Felony 6) and false informing (A Misdemeanor), and both will be transported to Kosciusko County.
According to the case’s probable cause affidavit, Anthony Ramirez, who is Aaliyah’s father, recently won full custody of her. The order provided guidelines for communication between the 14-year-old and the Sands. The order also prohibited contact between Ramirez and “a person identified as the boyfriend, currently residing in Florida,” according to the affidavit.
It also says that Anthony Ramirez suspected that the Sands were responsible for his daughter’s disappearance right away in April.
The affidavit says the Sands “formulated a plan to pick up Aaliyah and take her back to Florida so she could be with her boyfriend.” However, on April 27, around 7:30 p.m., Allissa Sands contacted police, saying she was notified Ramirez was missing and denied knowing her whereabouts.
Police got perhaps their biggest break in July when Aaliyah was spotted on a Florida malls’ surveillance video, wearing a disguise, shopping with Elizabeth and her boyfriend.
According to Ramirez’s uncle, Alex Ramirez, the 14-year-old is currently in a juvenile detention center is West Palm Beach. He says she’s “a little shaken up but is okay.”
“As of right now the judges just want to confirm with the judges up in Indiana, about my niece and her well being, who she’s gonna be with, what kind of mental evaluations need to take place, and things along that nature of making sure she is in the best mental state that she can be in,” said Alex Ramirez.
The Sands are waiting to be extradited back to Indiana.