A missing 3-year-old South St. Paul girl and her father were located in Utah near Salt Lake City, police said Saturday night. The pair were last seen Thursday leaving her aunt's home.
The little girl's mother told police that she feared that the father, Ankker Delpaso, took the girl, Eva'Anne Delpaso, because the mother planned to move Eva'Anne back to her home in St. Paul. The father was under a Ramsey County Court order not to have unsupervised contact with the little girl.
A citizen who saw media reports about the girl's disappearance called police to report she saw two individuals who looked similar to the missing girl and her father at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Eva'Anne's mother looked at a surveillance photo and identified the two.
Police said they learned the two had boarded a plane to Denver and then continued on to Salt Lake City. The two were found in West Valley City, Utah, about 10 miles from Utah's capital.
Eva'Anne was unharmed and is in protective custody and will remain so until she can be reunited with her mother, Pepper Farenelli Delpaso. The father is in custody in Utah.
The girl's mother had left her in her aunt's care in South St. Paul several months ago. When he left with the girl Thursday, the father, Ankker Delpaso, told the aunt that he was taking her to the Children's Museum in St. Paul.
The aunt told police that Ankker Delpaso notified her Thursday night that he'd be returning with the girl, but he never showed up.