Police in Niagara Falls, Ont., are searching for the parents of a baby who was freed from a locked hotel safe by workers Tuesday morning.

According to police, the family is from Brooklyn, N.Y. They had rented three rooms at the Howard Johnson Hotel on Victoria Avenue.

It is unclear how the baby ended up locked in the safe. According to CTV Toronto crime reporter Tamara Cherry, the family approached the hotel's cleaning staff in a panicked state at approximately 10 a.m., saying their child was trapped in a safe in one of the three rooms.

It took maintenance workers approximately 20 minutes to free the baby. Police say the baby was alert and crying at the time.

It's believed the family had difficulty communicating with hotel staff.

"They did have a language barrier," Det.-Const. Amanda Sanders said. "And there was an incident that happened inside with one of the safes."

She adds that the incident "may have been nothing more than a preventable accident" and investigators are hoping to verify that by speaking with the family.

Police say they had left the hotel by the time investigators were called, approximately an hour after the baby was freed.

Sanders said the gender of the baby is not known and it’s believed the child is under 12 months of age.

Police have also alerted border patrol officers and local hospitals in their search for the U.S. family.

The hotel room was registered to a person from Brooklyn, according to police. The New Jersey licence plate associated with the guests is a B31EUB and is registered to a 2015 grey Ford van.

Police say the van may have been a rental and is likely still in Canada. It is believed the family has not crossed the U.S.-Canada border to return to Brooklyn.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 905-688-4111, ext. 4320.

With a report from CTV Toronto's Tamara Cherry