The parents of toddler Alyssa Barker who was taken on a 36-hour journey by a homeless woman have spoken of their relief at having her returned.
The 17-month-old girl was reunited with her distraught parents on Saturday night after a frantic search by police that saw an information blitz from Auckland to Wellington.
A woman who watched the 6pm television news on Saturday recognised the woman and child who were staying at her west Auckland home as Skye Mason, 27, and Alyssa.
She waited until they were asleep before calling police at 9.15pm.
Alyssa's parents, Scott and Sam Barker, told media on Sunday they were relieved she had been safely returned to them.
"To be able to touch her and see her again was unbelievable," Mr Barker said.
Mrs Barker spoke of her disbelief upon realising Alyssa was gone.
"I'm angry that she [Mason] thought it was alright to do this," she said.
Alyssa was taken from her home in Makarau, north of Helensville in west Auckland, about 3pm on Friday.
Mason had been taken in by the family after they had taken pity on her for sleeping rough in the neighbourhood.
Mrs Barker said she had been caring for her youngest child while keeping an eye on Alyssa and Mason as they played outside the family home when the pair disappeared.Police said Mason, who has three children of her own, would appear in court on Monday. She is in police custody.
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