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Grandmother flies to San Diego to reunite with 5-year-old granddaughter

A Rochester grandmother was relieved Saturday when police knocked on her door at 1 AM to tell her Lily Ortiz, her 5-year-old granddaughter, was found safe. (WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. - A Rochester grandmother was relieved Saturday when police knocked on her door at 1:00 a.m. to tell her Lilly Ortiz, her 5-year-old granddaughter, was found safe in San Diego.

“I just can't wait to get there, can't wait just to hold her in my arms and bring her home safe,” said Inez Torres, who’s also Lilly’s guardian.

Torres had looks of both relief and elation Saturday at the Greater Rochester International Airport, as she was set to board a plane to reunite with her granddaughter and bring her back to Rochester.

"I spoke to (Lilly) earlier. She was excited, she was playing. She's probably a little confused," said Torres. "I just can't wait to get there, can't wait just to hold her in her arms and bring her home safe."

She packed enough clothes for a couple days in San Diego, along with a few goodies for her granddaughter.

"A little Victoria doll for her, fake nails, her purse, her little makeup, her blankie, she can't sleep without her blankie or teddy bears," said Torres.

Overnight, police said a sharp-eyed motel clerk in San Diego spotted Ortiz's mother, Rene Stong, after recognizing her face from a flier.

Ortiz was last seen Wednesday when her family said Stong took her off her school bus.

“I'm doing great. I couldn't be happier, couldn't be happier,” said Torres.

When asked why Lilly's biological mother took her to San Diego, Torres still wasn't sure why.

"I don't know why she chose there, I don't want to say no more, but I wish the best for her, no matter what happens."

As Torres was set to fly across the country on Saturday, she was grateful for the effort that went in to finding Lilly.

"Thank you so much everybody that helped out, thank you all you guys. I could not do it without you."

According to family, Lily's flight home is expected to arrive at the Rochester International Airport Sunday night at 7.

Rene Stong is still under police custody in San Diego.

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