21-month-old Daphne Viola-Webb had not been seen by any of her closest relatives — except, presumably, her father — for two weeks prior to the day her father said she was abducted from a store parking lot in East Oakland on July 10. The family of the child's mother, Kiana Webb-Davis, held a brief press conference Tuesday to announce what they felt was a significant issue in the investigation that police had not discussed, namely that, to their knowledge, no one had seen Daphne alive since June 27.

Father John Anthony Webb is therefore the only credible witness present in the parking lot to confirm his claims that the child disappeared out of his SUV. He claimed that he left the girl in the car with his 87-year-old mother (who has dementia) around 11 a.m. on July 10 near Gazzali's Supermarket at 79th Avenue and International Boulevard, in order to go inside to buy an energy drink. When he came out minutes later, he said he found the back door open, Daphne's car seat askew, and his mother's purse missing.

The reason her mother had not seen her in weeks is that she was in a residential substance abuse treatment program, and had only limited visitation rights following on child endangerment charges earlier this year.

The mother's family, led by Daphne's grandfather, Kevin Davis, said he did not care to comment further to reporters, but that they needed "people [to come forward] who have seen the child in the past couple weeks."

Webb was arrested and briefly held by Oakland Police following the girl's disappearance, but was never named a suspect and was released without being charged.

Police subsequently put out a description of a possible suspect, a Hispanic or African American female who was seen in the vicinity carrying a child that fit Daphne's description, and that suspect has not been found. The family has put together this website to help locate the child, and there will be a candlelight vigil for her this evening at 6:30 p.m. near where she allegedly disappeared.

Anyone with information about her disappearance is asked to call 510-238-3352.

[Oakland Tribune]