“She was not missing. After diligent investigation we located her family in Brunflo (just south of Östersund),” said Mona Litzell at the county communication centre in Östersund.
The girl had been in a car with her father on the E14 when she needed to pee. Her father went to turn the car around and left her for a few moments.
Because the girl involved is older than in the description given by witnesses, the girl's family did not at first connect the news story and their daughter.
“But the girl is short so she could be perceived as younger than she is,” said Mona Litzell.
Police were alerted on Wednesdsay night when a little girl was seen walking alone by the roadside just south of Brunflo, 20km outside Östersund at 10pm. Two witnesses called on Wednesday evening to say that they had seen the girl, approximately 6 to 7 years old, without a coat and with a stuffed animal under her arm.
The area where the girl was seen is remote. The police immediately sent out several patrols to search for the girl, but did not find any trace of her during the night.
Police had even called in a helicopter from Stockholm to help with the search.