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Chambersburg Area School District Foundation

FRANKLIN COUNTY — Pennsylvania State Police are treating four-year-old Gemma Moats disappearance from her Washington Township home last week as an abduction.

The child was reported missing early Thursday morning after her parents discovered found her bed empty and could not locate her.

They reported her missing at around 3:30 a.m., triggering a massive search by police, fire departments, the National Guard and emergency services volunteers.

The child was found standing by the side of a road at about 10:30 a.m., about 2 1/2 miles away from her home.

Police now say she was abducted sometime during the night. She appeared to be unharmed but was taken to a nearby hospital to be checked by medical personnel.

During the search Thursday morning, Washington Township Police issued a plea asking all residents in the Penn Mar and old Route 16 area to check outbuildings, yards, cars and around their property for the little girl.

After her recovery, they used social media to thank both searchers and the public for the outpouring of concern and offers for assistance during the search.

“(It) is a testament to what a wonderful community we are proud to serve and reside in,” township police said.

Early reports indicated young Gemma might have gotten up sometime during the night and got outside and wandered off.

But by Friday PSP issued a news release asking for help in finding the person “who took her from her home and dropped her off approximately 2.5 miles away.”

If you have any information about the case, please contact PSP Chambersburg at 717-264-5161.

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We are excited and have so much planned for our youth this year

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