Woman who searched for Palm Bay girl, whom police say was falsely reported missing, speaks out

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A woman who spent three hours searching for a little girl who was not actually missing is speaking out.

According to the Palm Bay Police Department, Taylor Michelle Gordon, 32, falsely reported her daughter as missing on May 28. 

An affidavit stated Palm Bay police officers, Brevard County sheriff’s deputies, their K-9 units, and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office helicopter all responded to help search for the little girl.

An alert text was sent out on Tuesday asking people to be on the lookout for the missing 7-year-old, who is on the autism spectrum. Althea Meraki got the text alert.

"That hit close to us because we have an 8-year-old, long, blonde-haired autistic child as well, so that just tore at my heart," Meraki said.

RELATED: Mom accused of lying to police about 'missing' 7-year-old daughter with autism

Althea Meraki said she and her family drove 45 minutes to help search for a 7-year-old child with autism who, according to police, was falsely reported missing.

Meraki and her family drove 45 minutes to help search for the child. She told FOX 35’s Hannah Mackenzie they focused their search on areas of water.

"One of the biggest fears of a parent of an autistic child is water, and we are surrounded by water, so you have to move very quickly," Meraki said. "I don’t know the science behind it, but they’re just very fascinated by water. So, one of the first places you check with autistic children going missing is canals, pools, neighbor’s pools, all the retention ponds."

After the girl was found inside Gordon’s home, a reporting officer stated Gordon said she had lost her daughter for a few minutes but did not tell police she had been found because she didn’t know what to do.

Credit: Brevard County Sheriff's Office

That officer stated he told Gordon he watched her home security video which showed she knew where her daughter was – before she called 911.

Gordon said she was "probably going to run away, so she reported it."

"She’s going to be held responsible," Meraki said. "At the end of the day, I’m going to do this every single time. Nothing will deter me because it’s for the children."

Gordon also faces additional charges, including perjury and false information to a law enforcement officer.

According to the sheriff’s office, she was charged with false reporting of a crime and perjury in 2018.

Gordon is out of jail on bond.