Autistic Winter Springs girl found safe

Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

WINTER SPRINGS, FL (WFLX) - Authorities have found a central Florida girl who has been missing since Friday.

UPDATE, TUE 10:15 AM: The Orlando Sentinel reports that Nadia Bloom was located alive Tuesday morning. Winter Springs police Chief Kevin Brunelle says Bloom has some bug bites and is dehydrated, but is "doing well."

Authorities have been searching wooded areas near Lake Jesup for Bloom, a fifth-grader who was last seen riding her bike.

Bloom has Asperger syndrome, an autism-related disorder. Investigators have used heat-seeking radar, scent-sniffing dogs and dive teams to search for the girl.

UPDATE, MON 5 PM: The Winter Springs Police Department has been looking for 11-year-old Nadia Bloom since Friday. Bloom, who went missing from her home near Orlando, may have been inspired by a book about an adventurous girl who decides to go camping in her backyard.

Authorities say she disappeared the same day her sister and father left for a trip to the Everglades with a Brownie troop, and that she carrying a book called "Lanie" about a young girl who loves the outdoors.

Police believe she disappeared into woods near her house and say K-9 dogs have tracked the child's scent into the woods near Lake Jesup. No signs of the girl have been found.

Nadia has an autism-related disorder called Asperger syndrome.

UPDATE, MON 10 AM: People in Winter Springs spent the weekend searching rugged terrain for a missing girl.

Eleven-year-old Nadia Bloom vanished Friday afternoon. The girl's sister told investigators Nadia was reading books about survival in the woods.

Police say they left bottles of water and notes urging her to stay until she can be found.

Winter Springs Police say there's a possible criminal investigation.

Previously: The search continues more than two days after an 11-year-old girl was reported missing. Nadia Bloom was last seen near her home in Winter Springs near Orlando.

Police are focusing on a nearby wooded area where her bike was found. More than 100 searchers spent Sunday scouring for any sign of the 11-year-old girl.

Neighbors in the Winter Springs subdivision could only hold out hope. "It's frustrating. [I] want to help, want to do something, but all we can do is wait."

The divers and searchers are determined to find Nadia despite extremely tough terrain.

Late Saturday afternoon, Winter Springs Police Chief Kevin Brunelle admitted there's now a possible criminal investigation in addition to the search. "Although, everything points to a search and rescue, in today's world, we have to know, we have to parallel that."

But even as police knock on doors of nearby sex offenders to find out whether someone did something unthinkable, neighbors, like Steve Glazier, can only think about a happy ending for Bloom. "It'd be wonderful to see them coming out of the woods with the little girl."

Meanwhile, the relatives of another high-profile missing child case have paid Nadia's parents a visit. Caylee Anthony's grandparents offered the family support and a hug. Their daughter, Casey Anthony, awaits trial in the murder of her little girl.