Girl At Center Of Amber Alert Found Safe, Mother Arrested

America Arellano was found safe after an hours-long search. An Amber Alert was issued while she was missing.

The girl at the center of an Amber Alert in Colorado Springs has been found after a nearly day-long search.

The 7-year-old was found safe inside an apartment in Aurora around 7:30 Wednesday night, 11 hours after she was reported missing. Her mother, Wendy Arellano, was arrested for second-degree kidnapping.

Police were in the process of arranging the return of America Arellano to her foster family late Wednesday.

America was kidnapped from inside her own school. Police believe Wendy Arellano went inside Carver Elementary School during the morning drop-off and took her daughter from the hallway.

"It was during a time where all the children were arriving for school, so it was a busy, hectic time of the morning for the school," said Colorado Springs police Sgt. Joel Kern. "A lot of people coming in and out."

"I kept hearing her name being said over the intercom to report to the 10 minutes later, they said it again," said parent Roxanne Hall, who knows America.

Parent Jennifer Hall, who also knows America, says three or four police cruisers were already at the school when she arrived at 8:30 a.m. to drop her daughter off.

It would be six more hours before an Amber Alert would be sent out, but Springs officers were working furiously behind the scenes to ensure any and all travel routes America's kidnapper could take were covered.

"We contacted the Colorado Springs Airport, Denver International Airport, we contacted all of our [law enforcement] partners in the Denver metro area as well as statewide," Kern said.

An Amber Alert was finally issued around 2:30 p.m. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation had to verify that America's abduction met all the criteria before one could go out.

Five hours after that, Aurora police found the little girl in an apartment on the 1300 block of South Geneva Way. Her mother allegedly kicked an officer in the chest during her arrest, and now faces charges of assaulting a police officer, in addition to kidnapping charges.

Detectives are still looking for the car America may have been taken in, a 2013 gray Dodge Avenger with license plate DQH-431. It's registered to Wendy Arellano's husband, Heriberto Gonzales-Hernandez.

Gonzales-Hernandez has been named a person of interest in the kidnapping. Police are still trying to find him.

Wendy Arellano lost custody of America in January, police said.