The maternal grandfather of missing 21-month-old girl Daphne Viola Webb announced today that her family has set up a website to serve as a central information hub in the search for Daphne. Kevin Davis, the father of Kiana Davis-Webb, who is Daphne’s mother, said at a news conference outside the Oakland Police Department that, “The past few days have been the worst nightmare of any parent and for me, as baby Daphne’s grandfather, this is a deeply troubling and anxious time.” Daphne was reported missing Wednesday morning by her father, 49-year-old John Anthony Webb of Oakland. Webb told police that Daphne was abducted by a stranger shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday while she sat in a parked car with his 87-year-old mother while he went inside the Gazza Supermarket at 7838 International Blvd. to buy something. Oakland police arrested Webb on suspicion of felony child endangerment later on Wednesday because they were concerned that he left Daphne in the care of his mother, as she suffers from dementia, police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said.
However, Webb was released from custody on Friday after the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office said it’s declining to file charges against Webb at this time. According to Watson, Daphne lives with her father and grandmother at a residence in the 800 block of Greenridge Drive, off Keller Avenue, in the Oak Knoll area of northeast Oakland but Davis-Webb lives at another location. Davis-Webb, 31, appeared with her father and about 30 other family members and supporters at the news conference but she didn’t speak. Kevin Davis said she doesn’t want to say anything at this time because “she’s too emotional for that.” Davis said, “As you can see, Kiana and baby Daphne have a large and loving family that is committed to doing everything in our power to bring my granddaughter home.”
He said, “We have also reached out to baby Daphne’s father, John Webb, and we look forward to his involvement and cooperation in our efforts for the safe return of baby Daphne.” Davis said, “We have been deeply troubled that the focus has somehow shifted from bringing our baby home to other issues that are not central to our one and only focus, and that is the safe return of my granddaughter.” However, Davis didn’t take any questions from reporters and didn’t explain what he was referring to. Daphne is described by police as black with short, curly black hair, a deformity in her left ear and as 2 feet tall and 30 pounds. She was last seen wearing orange two-piece pajamas with pink hearts. Police are still seeking and treating as a suspect a woman described as black or Hispanic and in her 30s with long black hair, wearing a light-colored top and blue jeans, who witnesses said they saw seen walking away from the Gazza Supermarket area Wednesday morning with a girl similar to Daphne. However, Watson said no one has reported actually seeing Daphne get abducted.
Oakland police, with the assistance of the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, have searched for Daphne at a number of locations but haven’t found her yet. According to court records, Davis-Webb currently is on probation for her conviction in February for child endangerment and possession of a controlled substance. The family’s website is www.findbabydaphne.com. Davis said the website will serve as a hub to inform the public and the news media of the family’s efforts to find Daphne in conjunction with Oakland police and the FBI. He said the family also is coordinating with the Klaas Kids Foundation and set up a telephone hotline at (510) 500-5241 for the public to get updates on the family’s efforts and activities. Watson said people who have tips about Daphne’s disappearance should call Oakland police at (510) 238-3641. Davis said a candlelight prayer vigil for Daphne will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at 79th Avenue and International Boulevard, near the location from which she was reported missing.
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