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California

Weeks after Bay Area mother is found in shallow grave, toddler remains missing, police say

Arianna Fitts, 2, has been missing since early April. Her mother's body was found in a shallow grave in a San Francisco city park April 8.
(San Francisco Police Department.)

Six weeks after the body of Nicole Fitts was found in a shallow grave at McLaren Park in San Francisco, her 2-year-old daughter, Arianna, remains missing.

On Wednesday, police and FBI officials announced that Fitts’ last employer, Best Buy, had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the discovery of her daughter or the arrest of her killer. 

“Help us find Arianna. Our hearts are breaking everyday we’re not seeing her,” Nicole Fitts’ sister, Contessa Fitts, said in a teary plea to the public at a news conference Wednesday.

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Though there’s been no sign of Arianna since she and her mother were reported missing April 5, police investigators said this week they think the girl is still alive and in the Bay Area. Fitts’ body was found by city park employees April 8 in a shallow grave covered with a piece of plywood.

Fitts did not have custody of her daughter at the time they disappeared — Arianna was being cared for by a trio in Oakland — but had been working and saving money in an effort to get her back, police said.

Fitts was an acquaintance of the three who were taking care of her daughter, police said. Though the group initially cooperated with investigators and went in for an interview, the three have since stopped cooperating, authorities said. They were the last people to see Arianna or her mother alive, police said.

Detectives have searched homes in the East Bay and interviewed people in Los Angeles as part of the investigation but haven’t identified any suspects or made any arrests, officials said.

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“We are confident that Ariana was in the care of a couple of individuals,” SFPD Cmdr. Greg McEachern told the San Francisco Examiner. “I think she’s still in the Bay Area, and I think she’s still alive.”

joseph.serna@latimes.com

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.

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