TODAY | December 05, 2012
>>> new developments in the desperate search for a very sick little girl . it's been a week since anyone has seen an 11-year-old leukemia patient who was taken out of the hospital by her mother. now her parents are opening up to nbc news about what happened. nbc 's miguel almaguer is in los angeles . miguel , good morning to you.
>> reporter: gait, good morning. police have launched searches in california, arizona and new mexico worried that this little girl could die but her parents tell nbc news she is safe and in good hands. 11-year-old emily was last seen with her mother, the young leukemia patient spotted on surveillance cameras walking through an arizona hospital last wednesday at 10:25 p.m . ducking into a bathroom, police say her mother removed emily 's iv which was connected to a chest catheter, changed her clothes and drove away from the hospital .
>> she's well, and she is fine.
>> reporter: nbc news sat down with emily 's father in california while her mother was on the phone from mexico .
>> i am the one that took emily out of the hospital .
>> reporter: emily 's parents say their daughter is now being treated by doctors in mexico . they won't say where, but police called their actions reckless.
>> there's a criminal element to this from the standpoint that we don't know the motive or reason why mom removed emily from the hospital .
>> reporter: investigators say what happened at phoenix children's hospital may be a case of child endangerment . they worry the catheter, still in emily 's heart, could become infected.
>> that's extremely urgent. we've been told that by doctors the minute that this little girl gets an infection, certainly just a matter of days, could result in her death.
>> parents want what's best for their child.
>> reporter: dr. quinton coyle is with harvard university medical center and not one of emily 's doctors.
>> some catheters a patient can have for days or weeks without a problem and other catheters are designed for short-term use.
>> reporter: emily 's father said he had nothing to do with his daughter's disappearance. over the weekend he was questioned by border patrol officers as he re-entered the united states from mexico .
>> she's in very good hands.
>> reporter: the couple say they removed emily from the hospital after she contracted a bacterial infection in her right arm which had to be amputate d.
>> i want to be done something for emily . i want justice for emily .
>> reporter: the couple also say their family was pressured over health insurance and mounting medical bills.
>> i'm very upset, angry, and without any answers and what happened. why were we treated this way?
>> reporter: prohibited by federal law from talking about emily 's medical treatment , the hospital released a statement saying phoenix children's hospital is deeply concerned about emily 's safety and well-being. if emily 's family has questions about her care, we encourage open communication and discussion of options with the care team. clinical decisions are not based on ability to pay.
>> hi, daddy.
>> hi, emily . how are you in.
>> reporter: their little girl , they say, is happy and healthy, but police demand emily be returned to the same hospital where she made a quick getaway with her mother one week ago. emily 's parents say they have no plans to bring her back to phoenix. police say they still want to speak to her mother. matt?
>> miguel almaguer in los angeles ,