Texas authorities are searching for an 18-month-old boy who was apparently abducted from his home after he was put to bed on Tuesday night.
The boy, Cedric Jackson, had recently been placed in the temporary custody of his aunt, Crystal Jackson, by Child Protective Services, Major Max Geron of the Dallas Police Department told reporters on Wednesday.
Jackson called police around 6 a.m. Wednesday to report the child missing, saying she had put him to bed around 11 p.m. the night before, Geron said.
A girl who lives at the home told police that she witnessed a man who looks like a relative, described by Geron as a step-grandparent, taking Cedric, Geron said.
Police located that relative, but Cedric was not with him at the time, Geron said. The man, who was not identified, was taken into custody on unrelated warrants.
However, it is unclear whether the man the girl saw was the relative or if police are searching for a separate suspect, Geron said, adding that an investigator who specializes in interviewing children will further question the child.
The girl said she hid when she saw the man but did not say anything until the next morning because she was afraid, police told WFAA. The front door of the apartment was unlocked that morning, the station reported.
Jackson told ABC Dallas affiliate WFAA that Cedric wouldn’t be able to walk out on his own.
“He’s not going to get up and walk off on his own,” she said. “He can’t even walk off curbs.”
The missing toddler is described as having black braided hair and brown eyes, and was last seen wearing only a diaper.
Jackson told WFAA that although the family doesn’t know for certain what happened, they believe that Cedric is dead.
“He’s dead,” she said. He’s gone.”
Police said in a statement Thursday morning that a body has not been found.
The boy’s mother, Dishundra Thomas, told WFAA on Wednesday that she wants her only son back.
“We just want everybody to know that we love our son, and we just want him back safe and sound,” Thomas said of Cedric.
Geron did not provide information on why Cedric was placed in Jackson’s care. Thomas said that she and Cedric’s father, Cedric Jackson Sr., were OK with the decision.
“We were OK with that,” Thomas said. “There were issues that I had to deal with to become a better mother.”
Cedric’s parents would visit him frequently and last saw him on Saturday, according to WFAA. Thomas described him as a “good boy” who was quiet and shy.
The FBI is assisting in the investigation. A press conference was planned for Thursday afternoon.
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