August 27th update from the City of Mill Creek.
The Mill Creek Police Department was notified by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after they contacted the mother and daughter at their home in California.
Gabriela told deputies they were safe and returned to California voluntarily.
David Merino was not with Gabriela and Chiara at that time.
The Mill Creek Police Department will continue to investigate whether Merino had contact with Gabriela in violation of the court order.
No additional details are available at this time.
From an August 26, 2019, City of Mill Creek news release.
The Mill Creek Police activated an Endangered Missing Person Alert with the Washington State Patrol for missing mother and baby who left under unexplained and suspicious circumstances.
The mother, Gabriella Harkness, and her one-year-old daughter Chiara Harkness were discovered missing from Gabriella’s parents’ home in the Highlands neighborhood of Mill Creek at approximately 7:21 am on Monday morning, August 26, 2019.
They may have left with David Merino, Chiara’s father.
Merino has recently made attempts to contact and meet the mother and daughter. There is a history of domestic violence by Merino against Gabriela which led to a protection order being put in place.
The suspect may be driving a 2016 Volkswagen white GTI, with California license plate 7RYB200.
Chiara is one year old, with brown eyes and black hair. She was last seen wearing a blue flower dress.
Gabriella Harkness is 22 years old, with brown hair and brown eyes, 5′ 9″ tall, and 115 pounds.
David Merino is 30 years old with brown eyes, black hair, 5′ 9″ tall, and 180 pounds.
The public is asked to call 911 with any information that may lead to finding these missing persons. No additional details are available at this time.
Chiara Harkness. Photo courtesy of Mill Creek Police.
David Merino. Photo courtesy of Mill Creek Police.