FITCHBURG -- The search for Alize Whipple ended Saturday afternoon when she was found safe in Shelby, N.C.

Her non-custodial mother, Leanna Wilson, 50, of 47 Normandy Road, was taken into custody.

Whipple was last seen at 4 p.m. Wednesday on Normandy Road wearing a pink top, pink petite pants and pink sparkly shoes. Police issued an Amber Alert Friday night and said they had reason to believe she would harm her daughter.

A blue 1996 Buick Century sought in the abduction was found empty late Friday night in Leominster.

Wilson called the Sentinel & Enterprise Wednesday about 2:15 p.m. and left a message. She said she wanted to speak with someone about how children were being taken away from their families for no reason and being put in state custody.

Multiple attempts to reach her by phone after the message was left were unsuccessful.

Neighbors of Wilson's say they hadn't seen anything physically wrong with Whipple.

Kristen Capen lives directly next door to Wilson and said if there was physical abuse, it was covered up.

"She (Whipple) seemed happy for the most part. She never seemed upset and there were no obvious signs of violence I could see," she said.

She said she believed Whipple was Wilson's granddaughter, and that Wilson's daughter was Whipple's mother. Capen said she barely saw her there.

"Her daughter was only here once in a great while and even then, she didn't stay long," she said. "She (Wilson) is making it worse for herself with all of these people now in the area investigating.



Capen said she and Wilson would share casually conversation while waiting for the school bus to drop their children off from Reingold Elementary School. Capen remembers a recent conversation where Wilson said she was upset that the Department of Children and Families would not let her move to South Carolina with Whipple.

Wilson also told her officials at the school reported her to DCF twice, Capen said, once right before Christmas vacation and once this past Monday.

"She was pretty angry they would report her for something. She said she couldn't understand why they would do something like that," Capen said, who said she was not told anything more about the complaints. "I know she (Whipple) had a lot of absences from school."

Capen also recalls Wilson constantly yelling at Whipple.

"We share a wall and I could always hear noise like yelling and screaming and crying," she said. "I never saw anything happen. I wasn't surprised when I heard this happened. DCF has been knocking on my door constantly this week asking questions."

The Fitchburg Police Department also spent time inside Wilson's home Saturday morning, she said, but she didn't know what they found or what they were looking for.

Guadalupe Rodriguez, who lives at 57 Normandy St., said she's been crying since the announcement was made Friday night about Whipple missing.

Rodriguez said she's lived in her home for six years. "She (Wilson) is a good mother, a good woman and a good neighbor," she said. "She loved that little girl. She took care of her every day. She's very quite and respectful."

She said she couldn't imagine what would lead Wilson to take Whipple.

"I don't know what happened. I cried when I saw the news and heard what happened," she said. "It's impossible to think something like this could happen. (Whipple) is very happy and cute. She would talk about anything with you."

The Leominster Police Department said Saturday all questions regarding the case must be directed to the district attorney's office. Calls to the office were not returned.

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