4-Month-Old Baby Found Safe After Being Kidnapped by Homeless Man, Police Say

October 15, 2019 Updated: October 15, 2019

A four-month-old baby was located after he was reportedly kidnapped by a homeless man near Hanford, California, on Monday.

Officers said the baby was found safe in Lemoore, located nearby, and the suspect was taken into custody, ABC30 reported.

The man called a local police department, saying he had a baby and wanted to know his rights, the report said. When he was pressed further, officers told the man to return the baby. He then turned off his phone, the ABC affiliate reported.

The Fresno Bee identified the suspect as Wesley Williams, 42, and the baby was identified as Armeliano Marshea Jesus Sanchez.

A four-month-old baby was located after he was reportedly kidnapped by a homeless man near Hanford, California, on Monday. (Google Maps)

Police have said they believe the incident was a custody dispute, the Hanford Sentinel reported, although ABC30 quoted officials as saying they have confirmed it was a kidnapping.

Anyone with information about the incident can call detectives at 559-585-2535.

Missing Children

There were 424,066 missing children reported in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center in 2018, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Under federal law, when a child is reported missing to law enforcement they must be entered into the database. In 2017, there were 464,324 entries.

“This number represents reports of missing children. That means if a child runs away multiple times in a year, each instance would be entered into NCIC separately and counted in the yearly total. Likewise, if an entry is withdrawn and amended or updated, that would also be reflected in the total,” the center notes on its website.

Reve Walsh and John Walsh speak during The National Center For Missing And Exploited Children, the Fraternal Order of the Police and the Justice Department’s 16th Annual Congressional Breakfast at The Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington on May 18, 2011. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)

“Unfortunately, since many children are never reported missing, there is no reliable way to determine the total number of children who are actually missing in the U.S.,” NCMEC (National Center for Missing & Exploited Children) added.

In 2018, the center said it assisted officers and families with the cases of more than 25,000 missing children. In those cases, 92 percent were endangered runaways, and 4 percent were family abductions.

The center said that it participates in the Amber Alert Program, which is a voluntary partnership between numerous entities including broadcasters, transportation agencies, and law enforcement agencies. The Amber Alert Program issues urgent bulletins in the most serious child abduction cases.

According to the NCMEC, to date, 941 children have been successfully recovered as a result of the Amber Alert Program.

The center notes that of the more than 23,500 runaways reported in 2018, about one in seven were likely victims of child sex trafficking.