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Frantic search for Denair girl has happy ending

A frantic search for a missing 5-year-old Denair girl had a happy ending Friday evening when authorities found her at her grandparents’ home.

Martha Gomez was last seen about 2:30 p.m. sitting on a picnic bench just outside Denair Elementary School on Madera Avenue and Elm Street.

Stanislaus County sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Winter said her uncle arrived to pick her up at the school, but she was gone. The girl was reported missing about 3:30 p.m.

Dozens of emergency responders began the search. Deputies and firefighters went door-to-door, looking for the girl.

Sheriff’s detectives even viewed surveillance footage from nearby stores, hoping they might catch a glimpse of the girl.

Authorities called the girl’s family, but were not able to reach her grandparents. Winter said the grandparents apparently didn’t have a cell phone and didn’t go straight home after picking her up.

About 6 p.m., sheriff’s officials were informed the girl was found safely with her grandparents.

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