Missing 3-Year-Old Found After Amber Alert Issued, Suspect in Custody

May 12, 2019 Updated: May 12, 2019

Oakland Police have announced that a 3-year-old girl abducted in a carjacking has been found and the suspect is in custody.

The Oakland Police Department posted an update on the case on May 12, saying in a tweet that the little girl was found safe shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday morning.

“OPD located missing 3-year-old child who was reported taken during a carjacking. Child is safe. The suspect in the carjacking has been taken into custody.”

Earlier, California Highway Patrol issued an amber alert in connection with the child’s disappearance with an urgent request for anyone with information to call 911.

She had been abducted at around 8:10 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, by an unknown suspect as she was inside a silver 2005 Mercedez-Benz sedan.

Police described the suspect is a black male with a beard in his 40s who was last seen wearing a red beanie, a red shirt, and black pants.

No details were immediately available on the charges the suspect could face in connection with the incident.

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.

Reve Walsh and John Walsh speak in Washington on May 18, 2011. (Kris Connor/Getty Images)

“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 Likewise, if an entry is withdrawn and amended or updated, that would also be reflected in the total,” the center notes on its website.

“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.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @OZImekTOM