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— A mother and her daughter who were reported missing in 2017 in Fayetteville were found safe, according to an announcement from the Fayetteville Police Department.

Amber Renaye Weber and her daughter Miracle Smith were reported missing in January five years ago.

The mother and her child were victims of physical abuse, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

The leads to the case initially went cold, officials said. The case was picked up last year by the department’s investigative assistant Sonia Roldan.

“We just kinda kept at it,” said Michael East, the United States Marshal for the Eastern District of North Carolina. “Finally someone gave us a piece of information we were able to corroborate and then based on that, we basically obtained some criminal charges on Joe Smith.” 

Investigators learned that the missing child and mother were in Bunnlevel with Joe Smith, 59.

On Jan. 19, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives charged Joe Smith with possession of a firearm by convicted felon, officials said. 

Authorities found Miracle Smith on Lemon Lane in Bunnlevel on Tuesday and gave her and her sibling to the Harnett County Department of Social Services.

Joe Smith was taken into custody on Tuesday and U.S. Marshals searched his home. They seized four guns from Smith’s home.

He will be arraigned in federal court and go before a federal magistrate within the next two days, according to East.

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