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Norwalker: Missing Mom Behaved Strangely

UPDATE at 9:30 a.m. Friday: The missing baby and her mother have been found in Norwalk.

Here is a statement from Norwalk police Lt. Ashley Gonzalez:

The baby and mother were located in Norwalk at a local hotel at approximately 11:30 p.m. Thursday. A tip was received in response to the Silver Alert stating that she was observed in the area of Westport Avenue. Detectives from the Youth Bureau followed the lead and developed additional information that led to their location. Detectives took custody of the baby and transported her to police headquarters. The Department of Children and Families has been notified. The baby appears to be in good health, she will be turned over to DCF once they respond.

Original story:

NORWALK, Conn. – A mother who has gone missing with her infant was "flustered, breathing heavy and looked a little confused" when she boarded a Metro-North train in Norwalk on Wednesday night, a witness said. Her baby appeared fine.

Andrew Vazzano, marketing manager for Main Street Connect , parent company of The Daily Norwalk, was inspired to take a photo of Kelley Acevedo, 33, after she boarded a northbound train at the South Norwalk train station at about 9 p.m. because of her odd behavior. Acevedo had her baby daughter with her. Both have since been reported missing and are being sought by Norwalk Police.

Vazzano began taking photos of train passengers about a week-and-a-half ago, to put up on a blog, a "profile of humanity" on the train. "You sit on a train for an hour or two hours, you're surrounded by these people," he said. "Sometimes you're staring directly at someone you've never seen before and will probably never see again. It's like chronicling that trip, that daily commute."

Acevedo boarded the train in a hurry, he said, although there was no need to. There were no other people boarding, and the train was not about to pull out. She sat in the first seat and put her baby's stroller in the aisle. Vazzano needed to get off at the next stop, East Norwalk, where he lives. But Acevedo made no motion to move the stroller for him. "I was standing in the aisle and motioning that I needed to get by, and she didn't make eye contact with me," Vazzano said. "Her eyes were bulging a little bit. It was just, like, she struck me as kind of strange. I ended up having to hop over the seat because she wasn't moving it. Before I jumped over the seat I snapped the picture."

He got a good look at Emily as he went over the stroller. She looked "perfectly normal" and had a bottle in her hand. "The baby never made a sound, had a bottle, was as perfectly content as a baby could be," Vazzano said.

Acevedo has been staying in a New Haven drug rehabilitation facility, according to Lt. Ashley Gonzalez, commander of the Norwalk Police Youth Bureau. Acevedo was given a pass Wednesday to appear in Norwalk Superior Court. She took her daughter, 7-month-old Emily, although the baby is technically in the custody of the Department of Children and Families.

Emily lives at the facility with Acevedo, who takes care of the girl under the supervision of DCF.

Acevedo did not return to the New Haven facility Wednesday night, and workers have not been able to contact her. "It's unusual," Gonzalez said. "My understanding is she's been cooperative until now."

Acevedo has lived in Norwalk in the past, he said. She may have stayed at the Open Door Shelter. Police have contacted the baby's father, but he hasn't heard from them.

Vazzano originally reported that Acevedo had gotten on in East Norwalk. But after he thought about it, he realized that wasn't right. But Gonzalez received another report that Acevedo was seen in East Norwalk, at the gas station at East Avenue and Winfield Street.

Vazzano knows she got on in South Norwalk because he had to climb over her stroller to get off the train.

He began commuting to the city about a month ago when Main Street Connect opened an office in Tribeca. He started his People of Metro North blog a week-and-a-half ago, using an iPhone 4S to take an occasional photo. On Wednesday afternoon, he got a breaking news alert from The Daily Norwalk and thought the photo of Acevedo looked familiar. "I thought, 'Wouldn't it be funny if that was the same lady?' I pulled up the blog and looked at it and went, 'Wait a minute, that is the same lady.'"

Gonzalez sent the photo out to news outlets a little while later. "Anytime we can't account for a 7-month-old, we're concerned," Gonzalez said. "It is unusual for her not to have returned, so we want to locate her as soon as we can, and account for her well being. We're following through everything that we can, between us and New Haven (police). State Police put out the alert for us. If people recognize her, we're asking them to call 911 and let us know so we can confirm their well being and return them to where they're supposed to be."

Anyone with information is asked to call Norwalk Police at 203-854-3123. Anonymous tips can be submitted online. Anonymous text tips can be filed by typing "NPD" into the text field, followed by the message, and sending it to CRIMES (27463).

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