Police search for Chinese girl who disappeared from Washington airport

WASHINGTON, Aug 3 (Reuters) - A 12-year-old Chinese girl who went missing from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is believed to be in "extreme danger," authorities said on Friday.

JinJing Ma had arrived at the Washington airport with a tour group, but later got separated from it, apparently changing clothes and leaving with an unknown Asian woman, officials from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority told reporters.

They left the airport in a white Infiniti vehicle.

Officials are looking for JinJing, the woman with whom she left, and an Asian man who was seen with the woman at the airport.

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JinJing arrived in Washington after a trip with the tour group to New York, where a couple approached her, apparently during a visit to the World Trade Center memorial, police said.

The authorities said they were not sure if the couple in New York was the same as the one in Washington, but they believed the two events were related.

A spokeswoman for the New York Police Department referred a reporter back to officials in Washington.

Authorities have tried to contact JinJing's grandfather in China but have so far been unable to reach him. They were also working to determine if JinJing had any relatives in the United States and who her parents are.

"For us, this is our priority number one. It's of utmost importance," said David Huchler, the police chief for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

The Chinese embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the case.

In previous incidents involving crimes against Chinese citizens in the United States, such as the killing in 2017 of a University of Utah student and the kidnapping of a University of Illinois scholar, also last year, Beijing had urged the U.S. authorities involved to solve the cases. (Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Bernadette Baum)