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Bahamian girl taken into U.S. custody after fleeing storm damage with godmother, family says

MIAMI (AP) — Immigration officials say a Bahamian girl who evacuated to Florida after Hurricane Dorian was transferred to the government’s custody because she arrived in the U.S. with an adult who was not a family member.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement Wednesday that officials “made multiple attempts” to contact her family after the child arrived in West Palm Beach with a person who was not a relative.

The Miami Herald reported late Tuesday that Customs officials had separated 12-year-old Katyora Paul from “family” after she arrived in Florida from Nassau on Sunday.

The newspaper quotes Katyora’s mother, Katty Paul, as saying that Katyora flew to Florida with her godmother after the family’s home flooded and their roof collapsed.

The newspaper says officials also refused to turn the girl over to a biological aunt.