Update: One-Year-Old Ziona Amaya Has Been Located

Update from MCPD:

“Detectives from the Montgomery County Police – Special Investigations Division (SVID) have located one-year-old Ziona Amaya and her father, Cornelius Smith.

Smith and the toddler were located in New York City, after being spotted by a passenger on a subway. That passenger recognized Smith from the Montgomery County Police news release that had been shared by the group, Black and Missing, Inc. on Facebook. The social media post on Black and Missing, Inc. had been shared over 1,400 times on Facebook.

The passenger took a picture of Smith with the child and called Montgomery County Police SVID via the phone number listed on the news release.

The passenger spoke with an SVID detective and forwarded the photo that had been taken on the subway to the detective.

With assistance from the New York City Police Department, Smith and Ziona were located, and Smith has been taken into custody.

Ziona is reported to be in good health and unharmed.”

Thank you to Black and Missing, Inc. and all who shared Ziona’s information!

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Gaithersburg, MD – Detectives from the Montgomery County Police – Special Investigations Division (SVID) are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a missing one-year-old from Silver Spring, and her 28-year-old father.

Ziona Amaya was last seen with her father,Cornelius Smith, on November 28 at approximately 6 p.m. The child and her mother, Sandy Barrientos, had been reported missing on November 28, however the mother has been located safe and unharmed, and Ziona is reportedly with Smith.

Ziona is an infant and has brown eyes and black hair. She was wearing a pink jacket, green pants, pink sneakers and a pink hat.

Smith is 5-feet, 9-inches tall, weighs 160 lbs. and has brown eyes and black hair (currently has hair in a full afro).

He was last known to be wearing a white hoodie (possibly with pink flowers on it), black pants, and unknown type of shoes.  Smith has a tattoo on his right arm of “Veda” and a tattoo by his left eye of a musical note. He was also carrying a black diaper bag for Ziona.

Smith is possibly using public transportation to get Ziona and himself around the DMV area.

Police and family are concerned for their welfare.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Ziona Amaya and Cornelius Smith is asked to call the police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000 (24-hour line) or the Special Victims Investigations Division at 240-773-5400.



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