Child found in Los Angeles, dad in custody, Amber Alert deactivated
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- A toddler is on his way back to the Bay Area from Southern California to be reunited with his mother after a statewide Amber Alert was issued on Friday, the San Francisco District Attorney's office says.
At 8:09 p.m. California Highway Patrol tweeted that the Amber Alert for the 21-month-old San Francisco boy was deactivated. The boy was found safe and his father is in custody they said. The father, 30-year-old Jason Lam, was located around 8 p.m. in Los Angeles, according to officials.
An official with the District Attorney's office said they had contact with Los Angeles Police Department about the missing boy, Makai Bangoura. With their cooperation, they were able to locate the father and child. The father was said to have been taken into custody by LAPD without incident.
The alert was issued Friday afternoon. Makai was abducted Thursday by his father, according to the DA's office and was said to possibly be in danger.
Investigators said Lam, an Asian male, who is 5-feet-3-inches tall and weighs 145 pounds with black hair and brown eyes, could be suicidal and he should not be approached without the help of police.
Makai's mother contacted police Thursday night to report Makai had not been returned by Lam at an agreed upon time. Although the couple had joint custody of the boy, the toddler’s mother petitioned a court and received sole custody, making the incident an abduction.
Authorities said they always take those cases very seriously, but as they continued to investigate they learned there may be a safety issue. That's why they did not issue an Amber Alert until Friday afternoon. The San Francisco Police Department said it was asked by the city's district attorney's office to issue the missing child alert.
Authorities said the father and son were spotted on surveillance video at a store in Menlo Park and when investigators got a tip that Lam could be headed south, the Amber Alert was extended from the Bay Area to Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.
Authorities said during their investigation they learned of "disturbing information" regarding the father that gave them concern. Relatives of Lam allege he recently experienced mental breakdowns, according to officials with the district attorney's office.
The suspect was said to have been driving a tan 2000 Toyota Corolla with California license plate 5SEY238. The vehicle could be seen being towed away on a Southern California interstate highway after the father was taken into custody.