DERBY, Conn. (AP/WTNH) — Ansonia police are following a tip they received that could be connected to the case of missing 1-year-old, Vanessa Morales.
Ansonia Police Lt. Patrick Lynch confirmed to Hearst Connecticut Media they responded to BJ’s Wholesale Club in Derby on Monday for a report from a shopper of a discarded car seat in or around the store that fit the description of one police announced they were looking for last week in connection to Vanessa.
No word yet on if the car seat found at BJ’s is the car seat for which police are searching.
Police also have not confirmed whether or not they have recovered the other missing items from Vanessa’ home: a comforter, a blanket, a backpack, a teething ring, or a diaper bag.
Lt. Lynch said investigators are not commenting on any evidence they might recover “in order to protect the integrity of the investigation.”
Monday’s search was conducted just over a mile from a wooded area of Derby Avenue that was canvassed by Connecticut State Police search dogs in the days following Vanessa’s disappearance, and just outside the perimeter where police have publicly put out the call for video captured by home surveillance cameras.
Thursday, News 8 spoke to some shoppers at the Derby BJ’s about the police activity and the search for missing baby Vanessa.
Mom of three, Gabriella Deabreu, told News 8 as she was packing up her own shopping on a BJ’s run. She said she and every parent and person she knows continues to look for any trace of Vanessa.
“We see the pictures everywhere. Facebook, wherever we go. We see pictures of the baby in the stores and everything.
When I park my car, I look inside other cars because you never know if you see a kid inside or something.
The community here is very strong. Everyone here is looking, everyone is talking about it.”– Gabriella Deabreu, Shelton
The last known trace of baby Vanessa was the day after Thanksgiving. As of Thursday, she has been missing three-and-a-half weeks.
Her mother, Christine Holloway, was found dead in their home Dec. 2.
The toddler’s father, Jose Morales, has been in custody since his arrest earlier this month on charges unrelated to the death of the girl’s mother and the girl’s disappearance. He was named the main suspect in Holloway’s death on Dec. 17.