Katrina child reunited with mom

March 23, 2006 at 1:18 PM
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HOUSTON, March 23 (UPI) -- A 4-year-old girl, who was reported missing for six months and feared dead in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, has been reunited with her mother in Houston.

Lisa Stewart, 31, who was separated from her daughter Cortez Stewart during the devastation in New Orleans, had almost given up finding her child until last week when she received a telephone call at her temporary home in Houston, reports The Dallas Morning News.

The child was found by Lee Reed, a retired police officer from Abilene, Texas, who now works for the Virginia-based National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Officials this week declared Cortez the last of 5,192 missing children accounted for by the organization after Katrina, the report said. The center said all but 12 of the children were found alive, living with other relatives, family friends or other adults.

"I missed my mom," Cortez said, but added that she didn't panic. The child was with her mother's friend. The mother and the friend couldn't find each other for months afterward.

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