Mom to ‘missing’ Gresham girl arraigned

Sara Lea Edmond appears in court
Sara Lea Edmond appears in court for her arraignment after authorities say she called to report her 6-year-old daughter missing while in a custody battle with the girl's father. (April 15, 2013 | KOIN 6 News)

GRESHAM, Ore. (KOIN) — A mother’s Saturday call to report her 6-year-ago child missing now has the 30-year-old woman in court.

Dozens of searchers labored into the night over the weekend — before finding the missing girl in a Gresham Howard Johnson hotel room. Court documents say mother and daughter were found hiding under the bed around 3 a.m. Sunday morning.

The mother, facing multiple charges including filing a false report and child neglect, appeared in court for the first time since that call — evoking a lot of emotion from those in the courtroom.

Onlookers said they are extremely relieved the little girl is safe and sound. On the other hand, they’re disappointed and angry at how this mother handled the situation.

Court documents claim Sara Lea Edmond intentionally called police Saturday, saying her daughter never made it to a play date. Court documents reveal she was in a custody dispute with her daughter’s father. She reportedly told officers she thought police would take a missing person report and that’s it — and she didn’t realize the kind of trouble she would be in.

Instead, rescuers and law enforcement responded — conducting an exhaustive search into the night.

A Multnomah County district attorney told the court Monday that he views her as an extreme flight risk. She is in jail as of Monday night.

Her next court appearance is April 23.

Her daughter reportedly is now in the custody of her father, a Portland firefighter.

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