A woman accused of abducting a toddler has been remanded in custody following a brief appearance in court.
Skye Adele Mason, 27, appeared in the Waitakere District Court this afternoon charged with abducting 17-month-old Alyssa Barker.
She was charged with abduction of a person under 17, a charge that carries a seven-year maximum term of imprisonment.
Mason was also charged with assaulting a police constable with intent to obstruct her duties, on July 29.
The toddler went missing on Friday afternoon from her Kaukapakapa home, north of Auckland, where Mason had briefly been living.
The disappearance sparked a massive manhunt and Alyssa was returned to her family on Saturday night after a woman with whom Mason sought refuge called the police.
Detective Sergeant Murray Free said police became worried because Friday night was cold and Mason had been sleeping rough until the Barker family took her in.
It is not known how the pair spent Friday night but Alyssa Barker was unharmed.
Judge Claire Ryan declined applications to film proceedings saying she had received forensic psychiatric reports and Mason was "fragile".
She said she was not ruling on name suppression as that cat was already out of the bag.
Alyssa's mother Sam Barker said she was looking after her younger baby Kashine when Mason and her daughter were walking around outside their house, in sight, on Friday afternoon.
They went round a bend in the driveway and disappeared, she said.
Police were called and the Barkers spent a sleepless night after Mason and Alyssa were spotted in Glen Eden.
"It rips your heart out," her father Scott Barker said.
Police said Mason and Alyssa received a ride from a passing motorist.
Officers from all over Auckland descended on the area along with Search and Rescue teams and the unprecedented step was taken of advertising the disappearance on motorway traffic signs throughout Auckland and the surrounding area.
Three people approached by Mason rang police.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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