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N.H. mom missing; baby discovered in car with engine running

By Katie Silver, CNN
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Mom vanishes, infant found in car
  • Krista Dittmeyer, 20, has not been seen since Saturday
  • Her 14-month-old daughter was left in her running car
  • Relatives say she never would have left the child alone

Read more about this story from CNN affiliate WMUR.

(CNN) -- Police in New Hampshire are searching for a missing mother after her baby daughter was discovered in an abandoned car with its engine running and hazard lights flashing, authorities said.

Krista Dittmeyer, 20, has not been seen since Saturday, when the 14-month-old was found alone in her car, parked in the parking lot of a ski area at Mount Cranmore, New Hampshire, according to Conway, New Hampshire, police spokesman Christopher Perley.

The car was discovered early Saturday morning by an unidentified passerby who noticed the flashing hazard lights. When the witness "approached the car, they found that it was unoccupied, it was running, the driver's door was slightly ajar and there was a baby in the back seat," Perley told reporters Monday.

The witness alerted police and the baby was taken to nearby Memorial Hospital, where it was determined to be in good health and then reunited with its grandmother, Perley said. Police also conducted a thorough search using fire and rescue personnel, New Hampshire Fish and Game staffers and police dogs. A murky pond has been drained and an air search was conducted Monday with no sign of Dittmeyer, Perley said.

"We don't have any information that leads us to believe that she's not alive, and we're going to continue to investigate as if we can reunite her with her family," Perley said in a Monday press conference.

Dittmeyer, who lived with roommates in Portland, Maine, had no history of mental illness and no criminal record, Perley said.

"She would never, ever, ever, leave her in a car by herself," Dittmeyer's friend Kathy Pratt told CNN affiliate WMUR, referring to Dittmeyer's daughter.

Dittmeyer, who last spoke with her family at 8 p.m. on Friday, has friends in the North Conway area.

"We know that she would do whatever it takes to get back here and be with her daughter," her sister, Kayla Dittmeyer, told WMUR.

Police are testing physical evidence found at the scene, along with two vehicles -- one of them Krista Dittmeyer's black Nissan Sentra, Perley said in the press conference.

Authorities are also executing multiple search warrants and applying for a warrant for Dittmeyer's cell phone records, he said.

"We are mobilizing every resource that we have and we are continuing to mobilize additional sources to reunite Krista with her family," Perley said.