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A three-year-old girl who was feared to have been abducted in Brighton is safe and sound at home.
Sussex Police released a CCTV image of a father and his daughter after receiving a report that a man may have picked up a small child and walked off shortly after 3pm on Monday.
Searches - Appeal - Information - Abduction - Reports
They made extensive searches and issued an appeal for information about a possible abduction, but revealed that no reports of missing children were received.
Police said the mystery was solved when as man contacted police shortly before midnight to say the CCTV image police released was of him and his three-year-old daughter.
Daughter - Home - Time
He said his daughter had been reluctant to go home at the time.
She is 'she is safe and sound, asleep, at home,' Sussex Police said, adding that officers have been to their home.
Person - Police - Afternoon - Faith - Police
'It is clear that the person who first called police in the afternoon had misinterpreted what they saw but was acting in perfectly good faith,' a police spokesman said.
'Our thanks go to all news media and social media users who helped spread the word.'
Report - Police - Report - Manhunt - Media
But the report of a police report sparked a massive manhunt - with some on social media claiming the little girl had shouted 'stranger, stranger' after being snatched by a man near the Churchill Shopping Centre.
Police said they received a report that a man picked up a small child and walked off at the junction of Western Road and the western entrance to Clarence Square between 3.10pm and 3.20pm.
CCTV - Images - Man - Girl - Child
They released grainy CCTV images of a man with a little girl as they continued to investigate the possible child abduction outside the Churchill Shopping Centre on Monday.
The man is seen crouching down to talk to the girl in one image and the pair walk side by side...
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