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Reality Show Helps Turn Up Missing 6-Year-Old

Viewer recognized 6-year-old Talia Jones, who vanished a year ago, from A&E's 'Live PD' program
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2020 12:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – A now-canceled cable TV show has helped recover a young California girl missing for more than a year. In June, A&E announced it was cutting Live PD, a reality-TV series that shadows cops on their patrols, from its lineup following weeks of demonstrations about the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. But it was a May episode of that show that helped authorities track down 6-year-old Talia Jones in Buffalo, NY, after she'd vanished from San Pedro the previous June. Talia was suspected to be in the care of her mother, 43-year-old Melinda Davis, who doesn't have legal custody of her daughter, per the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Authorities were especially concerned because they believed Talia wasn't getting the proper medical care for a life-threatening medical issue she suffers from, per WHAM.

Talia's case was featured in a May episode of a Live PD show, however, and a viewer who recognized both Talia and Davis contacted NCMEC and told the group that the two were headed toward Buffalo. Talia was found safe Monday at a Buffalo residence and was placed temporarily with Erie County's Child Protective Services. Davis, meanwhile, was taken into custody and hit with a felony charge of child stealing. "This is an awesome example of the power of television and how one alert person made a difference," an NCMEC rep says. "We urge everyone to pay attention to the faces of missing kids. It just takes one person to bring home a missing child." (Read more missing child stories.)

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