NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- Police are looking for an American couple after staff at a Niagara Falls, Ont., hotel said they found a baby locked inside a room safe.

Niagara Regional police said the baby's parents alerted the hotel about the incident at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, and a maintenance worker freed the crying child.

Det.-Sgt. Scott Kraushar said the parents were at the scene but they left with the baby before police arrived.

"They were quite distraught and brought the cleaning staff back to the hotel room," he said.

"Unfortunately there was a delay in contacting police, and we're not thinking that they were trying to run, they just checked out during that time."

He said there is no information about why the baby was inside the safe.

The hotel's manager, Kevin Liddle, said he was made aware of the situation through other staff and instructed them to contact police.

"We as management are deeply concerned by (Tuesday's) events," he said.

"The local authorities were contacted and the hotel is co-operating with them fully."

Investigators said the hotel room was registered to a person from Brooklyn, N.Y., who was driving a grey passenger van with the New Jersey licence plate B31 EUB.

Kraushar said police want to locate the family to find out about the welfare of the child.

"We do want to speak with them just to answer some of our questions," he said.

"We have been in contact with our U.S. counterparts and they have flagged the vehicle on their side as well."