Massive search for missing girl----who wasn't missing

Paisley Fernandez was in class all along. Her parents, and Sheriff's deputies say the school made a roll call mistake that made them think she was missing.

Massive search for missing girl----who wasn't missing

By Craig Smith. CREATED Aug 20, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The report of a missing little girl brought law enforcement out in force at a charter school Tuesday.  It turned out she wasn't missing at all.

It happened at Legacy Traditional School on Cortaro Farms Road.When the school called and said it had a missing eight year old, deputies went all out to find her---then they found out she was at the school all along.

While the school was on lockdown, and deputies were searching for 8 year old Paisley Fernandez, she didn't know anyone was looking for her.  "I was doing a math test," she said.
Paisley's parents say when the school took roll, it mixed up Paisley's name with another girl's.
The mix up made school officials think Paisley was missing so they called for help, and called Paisley's parents.

Her mom, Jennifer Fernandez, rushed to the school, imagining the worst: "You think someone's taken your daughter and they're going to kill her.  They're gonna hurt her, they're gonna kill her."

The Sheriff's Department geared up for a maximum effort, calling extra deputies, Sheriff's volunteers, Sheriff's Posse Horse teams, the department helicopter, the Southern AZ Rescue Association, Oro Valley Police, Tucson Police and Northwest Fire.
When deputies found out what really happened to Paisley, a lot of the extra forces got a wave off before they made it on-scene.

It still took almost three hours to figure out Paisley's disappearance was no more than a roll call mistake.  All the while, her father was racing down from his job in Phoenix.

Daniel Fernandez: "I think it's absolutely ridiculous that they don't have controls in place to decipher whether a child is missing from school or not...after three hours?!"
The family thinks the school did the right thing when it thought it had a missing child but the idea the school lost track of their daughter is enough to make them pull her from that school and enroll her somewhere else.
When we tried to ask the school to explain itself, we were told to leave the property.
We called into the school and were told the school administration is preparing a statement.  As of late afternoon, we had not received it.

Craig Smith

Craig Smith

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Craig enjoys using innovative writing and visuals to make difficult stories easier to understand. As a newsroom manager at KGUN 9, Craig was part of the team that won three best newscast awards from Arizona Associated Press