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Halloween AMBER Alert: Search continues for missing child

Posted at 8:59 AM, Nov 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-01 13:05:50-04

HARNETT COUNTY, N.C. — State and local authorities continued scouring southern Harnett County on Wednesday for a three-year-old Spring Lake girl who they believe was abducted a day earlier.

Zy'Rah Nicole Holliday was last seen by her mother at about 6:15 a.m. Tuesday at their apartment on Sweet Lane. Authorities say the mother's boyfriend, Daquan Seandre Thomas, took Zy'Rah and her 11-month-old half-brother in a domestic dispute.

The 11-month-old, who is Thomas' biological son, was found about four hours later at a relative's home in Spring Lake. The boy had scratches on his face, but authorities said it was unclear how he got them.

Thomas, 20, was apprehended Tuesday afternoon near the relative's home and was charged with two counts of misdemeanor child abuse and one count of felony child abduction. An Amber Alert remains in effect for Zy'Rah.

He appeared in court Wednesday morning but said little.

A judge ordered him held under a $200,000 bond and set a probable cause hearing for Nov. 14.

As a State Highway Patrol helicopter and a State Bureau of Investigation plane searched the area from the sky, teams of law enforcement officers combed Spring Lake on the ground. Checkpoints were set up along Ray Road and N.C. Highway 210 to jog people's memories for any possible tips, and dive teams searched ponds in the area.

"We're just trying to cover everything, any possible avenues," Harnett County Sheriff Wayne Coats said during a Wednesday morning news conference. "We're not going to leave anything uncovered, so we're searching everywhere."

Temperatures around central North Carolina dropped into the low to mid-40s overnight.

Zy'Rah's mother took out a domestic violence protection order against Thomas on Monday, but Coats said deputies weren't able to serve it on him until he was arrested Tuesday afternoon.

Thomas hasn't been cooperative with investigators, the sheriff said.

"I wish I could read his mind and know what's going on in it and what, if anything, he would tell us about where the little girl is," Coats said.

Zy'Rah is described as about 3 feet tall and 35 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing a black shirt with flowers and the word "Love" on it and black jogging pants.

"We're not going to give up until we find her, whatever it takes," Coats said.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call the Harnett County Sheriff's Office at 910-893-9111, or call 911 or *HP.