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Downstate Mom ‘Overjoyed’ That Kidnapped Daughter Is Safe

Taytum Lewis

Taytum Lewis, 4, of Mount Carmel, Ill., was reported missing on Sunday, July 17, 2011. Police believe her uncle took her from a relative’s home in Chicago, without her parents’ permission. (Family Photo Handout)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The mother of a kidnapped 4-year-old downstate girl says she is “very much overjoyed” that her daughter was found in Chicago.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller reports, the girl, Taytum Lewis, was allegedly kidnapped by her uncle, John Mallory, 48, in downstate Mount Carmel over the weekend. They were found in downtown Chicago Monday afternoon.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Steve Miller reports

Newsradio 780 reached the girl’s mother as she was on her way to be reunited with her daughter, and she said she was “very much” overjoyed that her daughter had been found and was alive.

Mount Carmel Police Chief Jeff Besing said that Mallory took Taytum from Mount Carmel on Saturday, without her parents’ permission, then showed up at a relative’s home in Chicago on Sunday.

Chicago Police and Illinois State Police coordinated a search for the van, which had been reported stolen by Taytum’s parents.

Police found the van Monday afternoon, abandoned near the intersection of upper Stetson Avenue and Lake Street near Two Prudential Plaza and the Aon Center. Mallory and his niece were found nearby.

Besing said Monday that it was a “blessing” that Taytum had been found safe.

Mallory is charged with kidnapping in the case. Besing said Mallory was being held on $50,000 cash bond, which means he has to come up with the entire amount to bond out.

Police say the girl was taken to Children’s Memorial Hospital to be checked out.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.