The parents of a 17-month-old at the centre of an abduction over the weekend say they were trying help the woman who allegedly took their daughter to "sort herself out".
Police said Alyssa Barker was found late last night, 36 hours after she allegedly disappeared on Friday with 27-year-old Skye Mason.
Mason, who had been living on the streets in Silverdale, had asked to stay with Alyssa's parents Sam and Scott Barker.
Sam Barker said the family had taken Mason, who had a history of mental health issues, into their family home so she could get her life back on track.
"Through conversations that I had with Skye, she did appear that she was wanting to help herself, and we are happy to help anybody that is wanting to help themselves.
"Everyone needs help sometime in their life," the mother said.
The only connection the parents had to Mason was that she had known the mother's cousin ten years ago.
"She was apparently a girlfriend of my late cousin, who died in a car accident and she was actually in the car," Sam Barker said.
Father Scott Barker said it was hard not to be angry at Mason following the abduction, and that the pair wanted answers.
"There are things that are crossing my mind that I'd like to know, just for peace of mind sort of thing," the father said.
Sam Barker said she felt "relief" that her daughter was unharmed.
She also said the incident would not stop her from helping others in the future, but that she would be more wary from now on.
Thirty-six hour ordeal
Mason, who will appear at the Waitakere District Court tomorrow charged with abducting a child, allegedly took Alyssa from the Kaukapakapa home at around 3pm on Friday.
Sam Barker said she was tending to her younger child, Kashine, at the time, and that she could see Mason playing with Alyssa outside the house.
"I wasn't sure when to start worrying. I just honestly thought they would come around the corner and come back," Sam Baker said.
The parents called police alerting them to the disappearance.
Police said Mason was first sighted with Alyssa 60 kilometres away at a house in Glen Eden at around 10pm that evening, but police narrowly missed the pair.
"By the time they came to the realisation that Alyssa wasn't her child, and did the right thing and alerted police, we just missed picking her up," Detective Sergeant Murray Fee said.
"She walked off from that address on foot in the night time."
The abduction sparked a major police reaction, with signs lining the motorway to try and locate the toddler.
Police said the pair were finally found in Swanson after a woman, who was watching the television news, recognised the woman and child who were staying with her.
The woman then waited until they were asleep before calling police around 9.15pm and notifying them the pair were at her address.
Alyssa was reunited with her family as a "happy" child with no ill-effects.
Detective Inspector Stan Brown of Waitakere Police said he and his staff were delighted to be able to return Alyssa to her family and are very grateful to media for their support during what was a nervous search.
"This is one story that does not have a tragic end for a child and for that, we are very happy," he said.
Police also said they were grateful to Mason that she did not harm Alyssa in anyway.