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Man found with missing Norton girl charged with kidnapping

NORTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A Brockton man has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of a young girl in Norton on Friday.

Avery Howard, 32, is facing charges of kidnapping and assault and battery.

Police spent hours on Friday searching for the 6-year-old girl after she was reported missing at about 12:15 p.m. They said she had been last seen about half an hour earlier and believe she left home alone with a suitcase after a dispute.

Just before 2 p.m., police said they received two credible reports from witnesses who said they saw the child talking to a man in a black car with tinted windows around 11:45 a.m. on Foundry Street.

Police canvassed that area, and at 2:45 p.m., Detective Jesse Winters saw a car matching the description and pulled it over. Police said they found the little girl in the front seat.

The girl did not appear to be hurt, according to police, and she’s since been reunited with her family. Police said she’s two weeks away from her seventh birthday.

The driver, Howard, was brought in for questioning. He was later arrested, charged and brought to the New Bedford House of Correction, where he’ll be held until his arraignment.

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