The Dallas Police Department (DPD) is seeking public assistance in finding 18-month-old Cedric Jackson, who was recently put in the temporary custody of an aunt.
The DPD received a 9-1-1 call about the missing child at 6 a.m. on Wednesday from an apartment located in the 9700 block of Whitehurst Drive, according to a press release.
The aunt told the police that she put the toddler to sleep after 11 p.m. on Tuesday and discovered that he was missing the next day morning.
WFAA reports that the aunt told the police that Jackson was wearing only a diaper when she last saw him.
“A juvenile witness, who lives at the location, described someone who looked like a relative as having taken Cedric at some point during the night,” said Maj. Max Geron during a news conference.
Police said the witness did not talk about it until the next morning because she was frightened.
Geron described the alleged abductor as a “step-grandparent.”
An Amber alert was issued for the child at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday and detectives are canvassing the neighborhood and also interviewing the family members, including the child’s parents and the aunt.
Geron said during the press conference that the police are looking for the child in multiple areas and are reaching out to those who know the family. The FBI is working on the case after the DPD sought help, according to the press release.
Meanwhile, the detectives located the relative that was named by the juvenile witness, but Jackson was not found with him. He’s currently in jail in Keller, Texas, on unrelated warrants.
Geron said the police still don’t know who took the child away. “We don’t know if that suspect is the person in custody in Keller or if we are looking for a separate suspect that has a similar description,” Geron told WFAA.
Jackson’s parents talked with the media outside the DPD headquarters after being interviewed by the detectives.
“We just want everybody to know that we love our son, and we just want him back safe and sound,” mother Dishundra Thomas said, according to WFAA.
Thomas told the media that her son was placed in her aunt’s custody by Child Protection Services (CPS) and it was as per her will. She said there were issues that she “had to deal with to become a better mother.”
The abductor is described as a black male, 5 feet 10 inches tall, and about 190 pounds. Anyone with any information about the child can contact the Dallas Police Department’s Youth Operation Unit at 214-671-4268.
What to Do if a Child Goes Missing?
For anyone that needs help with a child gone missing, Safe Wise suggests the following actions:
You should call law enforcement as soon as possible instead of spending time looking for the child yourself. There’s no waiting time for reporting missing children below 18 years of age and the child’s name will be added to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Missing Person File immediately. A Be On the Look Out (BOLO) alert will be sent to all nearby police jurisdictions.
Present facts about your missing child in an organized way so that authorities can do their work swiftly. Keep a picture of the child that clearly shows the child’s distinguishable characteristics.
After law enforcement agencies have been notified, you can start looking for the child in your vicinity.
Make sure you are available to coordinate with law enforcement in the search efforts in the next 48 hours—this period is very critical.
Once you have informed the local authorities, they can also contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678), who can assist you and the authorities in your search.
Amber Alert for 18-Month-Old Last Seen Only in Diaper, Close Relative Questioned