The FBI has been brought in to assist San Francisco police in their search for a missing 2-year-old whose mother was found dead last Friday, authorities told NBC Bay Area.
Police investigators met with federal agents Tuesday and sought their assistance in the case of the missing girl, Arianna Fitts, who disappeared this month. Her mother, Nicole Fitts, 32, was found slain in San Francisco’s McLaren Park on Friday.
"We’re going to help if we can,” said FBI spokesman Prentice Danner following Tuesday’s meeting. He said the FBI is not taking over the case but will assist SFPD investigators in searching for the child.
Nicole Fitts was last seen April 1 and was reported missing April 5. She had been working at a Best Buy, in the South of Market area, near where her body was found.
"It’s so horrible and our employees are devastated," Best Buy spokeswoman Maggie Habashy emailed to NBC Bay Area. "We are saddened by the news and our thoughts go out to Nicole’s loved ones and pray her daughter is found safely."
A vigil is scheduled for Nicole Fitts Wednesday at 9 p.m. at Best Buy on 1717 Harrison Street in San Francisco.
The mother had been trying to turn her life around, those who knew her said.
"She was a lovely person and liked by everyone that worked with her," said Martha Ryan, who runs the Homeless Prenatal Program in San Francisco.
The program also serves as a resource center for families living in poverty. Ryan said Nicole Fitts, who worked at a Best Buy in San Francisco, used the center for parenting classes.
"We try to work with them to help them get to stable, so that they don't need us anymore," Ryan said.
Ryan said Nicole Fitts has not been at the center since October, which she added was a good thing.
Arianna and Nicole Fitts frequented San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Oakland, Emeryville and other California cities, said police, who have also notified authorities in those cities to be on the lookout for the missing child.
Due to the sensitive nature of this investigation, police said they can't disclose any other details about the killing or any other circumstances of the case.
Anyone who sees Arianna is asked to immediately call 911.