Nanny's Motive in Disappearance With Girl Still a Mystery: NYPD

Investigators believe the two spent the day riding mass transit around the city

Police say they're still trying to determine why a New York City nanny took off with a 3-year-old girl Tuesday morning and disappeared for 15 hours.

Fatima Alexander, 55, of Brooklyn, is facing charges including kidnapping after she took off with 3-year-old Gabriella Russo from the child's Battery Park City home shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday, according to police. 

"She had no criminal record, so it's a little perplexing why she did this," said NYPD Chief of Detectives Bob Boyce. "She just said she wanted to take the child for a walk." 

Alexander was supposed to take Gabriella to her preschool, but the girl never showed up. The school, Preschool of America at 25 Market St., called Gabriella's parents at around noon, setting off a day-long police search. 

Alexander had left her phone at the family's River Terrace apartment, and police have been unable to track where she took Gabriella. Investigators said they're looking at other video and talking to bus drivers.

They believe the two spent the day riding mass transit around the city. 

Alexander brought Gabriella home late Tuesday night, and family members crowded the nanny for answers as officers handcuffed her, video from The Daily News shows. 

When asked by reporters, "Where did you go with Gabriella," Alexander replied, "Nowhere." 

The next morning, as she was escorted from a police station after questioning, Alexander refused to comment at all. 

Before the girl was returned, her aunt, Rebecca Russo, told NBC 4 New York the family was frantic.

"She didn't make it to school. She didn't make it. I don't know. They saw her leave here on camera and that was it," she said.

The family has known and trusted Alexander for more than a decade, making her actions even more perplexing. 

Alexander was expected to be arraigned later Wednesday. 

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