A Texas boy who was the subject of an Amber Alert was found dead at a landfill in the Dallas area, according to local reports.
Sources told Fox 4 that Cedric Jackson, 1, was found dead on Thursday, July 11 at the landfill in Rowlett.
A source with the Dallas Police Department confirmed the news and Cedric’s maternal grandmother said officials told the family he was found dead, though they didn’t convey how they knew his body was at the landfill or the suspected cause of death.
There has been no official confirmation of the death as of yet but the Amber Alert that had been issued for Cedric on Wednesday night was discontinued.
Cedric was in the care of an aunt who had recently been given temporary custody of him when he went missing sometime late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
The aunt told police she put him to bed after 11 p.m. Tuesday and when she woke up the next morning he was gone.
“He’s dead. He’s gone,” Crystal Jackson, the aunt, told WFAA. “We don’t know 100 percent of what happened,” Jackson said as she paused and began to cry, “but we all loved that baby. He was just the sweetest baby.”
Family members cast doubt on the story, saying she slept next to the boy in the same bed. Police said that a child who also lives in the apartment said someone who resembled a relative entered the apartment and took Cedric during the night, the Dallas Police Department said in an alert.
That person was identified and interviewed by officers but the boy wasn’t found in his care. He was arrested on unrelated warrants and is in prison in Keller.
“The child said it looked like this relative. That individual is a black male, 5’7”, 180 to 190 lbs, about 47 years old. I will tell you at this point, we don’t know if that suspect is the person in custody in Keller or if we’re looking for a separate suspect that happens to match that description,” said Maj. Max Geron, acting commander over Criminal Investigations Bureau of the Dallas Police Department, at a press conference.
“It’s so crazy. I woke up and all I can remember is he wasn’t there. The first thing I did was start looking. He’s not going to get up and walk off on his own. He can’t even walk off curbs,” the aunt added to WFAA.
“We are planning a press conference sometime this afternoon to update all media on the progress of this investigation,” the Dallas Police Department said in a statement after reports emerged of the boy being found dead.
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. 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 noted.
The center said it assisted officers and families with the cases of more than 25,00 missing children. In those cases, 92 percent were endangered runaways, 4 percent were family abductions, 3 percent were critically missing young adults between the ages of 17 and 21, 1 percent were lost, injured, or otherwise missing children, and less than one percent were nonfamily abductions.
The center was founded by John and Revé Walsh and other child advocates in 1984 as a private, non-profit organization to serve as the national clearinghouse and resource center for information about missing and exploited children.