17-year-old arrested over toddler's disappearance

6:36 pm on 13 December 2016

A 17-year-old has been arrested after an 18-month-old vanished from a Rotorua home last night.

The child - who was found safe and well about 8.15am - was taken from his bed overnight, with his parents discovering he was missing about 2am.

Elisaia Kiff

Elisaia Kiff Photo: Supplied / Facebook

Police said this afternoon that a man had been arrested over the alleged kidnapping.

The teenager was not known to the family, and would appear in the Rotorua District Court tomorrow, they said.

They were not seeking anyone else in relation to the incident, but anybody who saw anything suspicious in the Koutu area between 10pm and 2am was encouraged to contact them.

Police started searching for the toddler in the early hours of this morning after the child's father, James Kiff, said the boy was taken from his bed during the night.

Mr Kiff posted on Facebook that his home was broken into last night and his son, Elisaia Kiff, was taken from his bed.

Nothing else was missing from the house, he said.

It occurred between 10.15pm and 2am, Mr Kiff said.

Elisaia's aunt, Sonya Rakei, said the family had gathered in Koutu, awaiting her nephew's return.

Ms Rakei said her sister, Nikala Rakei, was woken about 2am by the hallway light and she got out of bed with Mr Kiff to investigate.

They noticed the door to Elisaia's room ajar and found he was missing from his cot.

Sonya Rakei said the family were relieved he had been found and thankful for all the messages of support.

"He was hungry - he's always hungry, that boy. So they gave him some food, and he loves Snapchat, so he was trying to grab Nan's phone and open up Snapchat. He was like he had be been on an adventure. So he was fine, I think everybody else was just really distraught."

Elisaia's grandmother wrote on Facebook that he was taken from Westlock Road.

Mr Kiff wrote on Facebook, "This is not a joke and any info would be appreciated ... Please share and bring my son home!"

His post was greeted by people shocked at the news and sending their good wishes that Elisaia would be found.

The child was medically checked as a precaution when he was found, and was uninjured.