Missing 10-year-old girl rode to Aurora in family friend’s car; Friend didn’t know it

GOLDEN, Colo. -- A 10-year-old girl who was reported missing in Golden on Thursday night was found safe at an apartment complex in Aurora on Friday morning, some 27 miles from where she disappeared, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said.

Jefferson County Sherifff's Office investigators said Friday afternoon the girl "was inadvertently taken to Aurora by a family friend. She hid in back of the friend's vehicle unbeknown to the driver, then she left the vehicle after it was parked at the friend's home for the night."

Residents at an apartment complex in the 17000 block of East Stanford Circle said the Madeleine Malloy knocked on their door about 11 p.m. Thursday asking to borrow a blanket.

The residents thought the child lived in the neighborhood and gave her a blanket. They later thought something was amiss and went looking for the girl, but they couldn't find her.

Police were called and there was a search overnight, but it didn't turn up the girl.

Malloy then knocked on the door of the apartment about 7 a.m. to return the blanket and saying she was hungry.

Malloy, who was not wearing any shoes, told the residents that she had slept overnight on the sidewalk by the complex near South Buckley Road and East Quincy Avenue.

The residents fed the girl and called law enforcement.

The girl told the apartment residents she had walked from her home in Golden, but officials don't believe that's the case.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Jenny Fulton said investigators did not believe Malloy was abducted, but instead ran away.

Malloy was last seen about 5 p.m. Thursday after going to her room after a disagreement with a family member, the sheriff's office said.

At some point, she left her home in the 18300 block of West 59th Drive in Golden on foot, Fulton said. Malloy was reported missing to the sheriff's office about 8:30 p.m.

Multiple agencies -- including several police departments, the sheriff's office and the FBI -- became involved in the search overnight.

Bloodhounds and a Flight for Life helicopter were brought in to help in the search.

Law enforcement set up checkpoints on Friday morning at West 58th Avenue and Highway 93, and 60th Avenue and Easley Road to hand out flyers, asking drivers if they had any information on the disappearance.