Amber Alert canceled, Portsmouth girl found safe

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PORTSMOUTH — Kathryn Botelho, the 13-year-old girl who was seen leaving her home Wednesday morning with a man unknown to her family, has been found safe.

The Amber Alert issued yesterday was canceled sometime around 1 a.m. Thursday.

A Portsmouth police spokesman Thursday morning confirmed that Kathryn has been found "alive and safe" and that police would be issuing a statement later today. Local police, Rhode Island State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are continuing to investigate the matter, according to police.

The police spokesman would neither "confirm nor deny" that Kathryn is back with her family as of Thursday morning.

Police first received a report at about 9:35 a.m. from a resident of 59 Ferry Landing that her 13-year-old daughter was missing. A search of the home and immediate area failed to locate the child, police said.

A witness said he saw the girl leave with a male, approximately 40 to 45 years old, in an older model red Chrysler Concord or Sebring with faded paint and possibly New Jersey registration. The witness said the girl appeared to leave with the man voluntarily, police said. The girl’s mother had left the home for a short period and when she returned, her daughter was missing.

Portsmouth police and rescue units spent all of Wednesday searching each street in town for Kathryn and the vehicle.

After Kathryn's disappearance, a Facebook page was set up as a clearinghouse for any information. The page had more than 2,200 “likes” as of Thursday morning.

At about 7 a.m. Thursday, someone posted a message to the page that read: "We have just gotten word that the FBI has found Kathryn alive in NJ." That information has not been confirmed by police, however.

Check back for more details as this story develops.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.