The Montebello, California, Amber Alert that had been issued for one-year-old Caleb Castro Thursday afternoon has been cancelled. He has been returned to his mother, Maria Castro, safe and unharmed.
The mother of missing Caleb Castro, Maria, had parked her minivan in the SA Recycling Center parking lot, located at 1545 Gage Road, in Montebello, California. Caleb’s mother, Maria, had exited the vehicle, leaving her three children inside of the parked minivan.
A Spanish speaking male in his 30s, described with dark spiked hair, had approached the minivan where the keys had remained in the ignition. The suspect ordered Caleb’s two younger sister’s, ages 4 and 6, to exit the vehicle. The girls fled the vehicle and ran towards their mother. Caleb’s mother began to run towards the vehicle, realizing her son was still inside the van, but the suspect started the car with the keys that were left in the ignition and drove away exiting the parking lot.
One-year-old Caleb Castro was strapped into his car seat in the back of his mother’s parked dark red Honda Odyssey when the van was stolen. The suspect in question is presumed to be unaware of the 1-year-old child in the rear of the vehicle at the time it was taken, due to the fact that the boy was sleeping in his car seat.
Police officials described the van as a dark red 2003 Honda Odyssey with California license plates that read 6TRZ025. Police officials are still looking for the suspect who is described as a 30-year-old Spanish-speaking male with dark spiked hair.
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) January 8, 2016
ABC 10 News reported the police-issued statement.
“The mother screamed that her baby was in the car; however the suspect fled with the vehicle out of the parking lot and southbound on Gage Road.”
Police officials issued an Amber Alert Thursday afternoon. The Amber Alert was issued on the television channels, across the internet, on highways, and through cellular services. Police had urged anyone to call 911 immediately if they saw the child, the stolen minivan, or the suspect.
A good Samaritan heard a child crying in the parking lot, and called the police. Caleb was found safe and unharmed inside the van at approximately 6:50 p.m. Police officials reported that the McDonald’s surveillance video shows the suspect pulling into the McDonald’s parking lot shortly after 3 p.m. The suspect parked the van, exited the vehicle, and was seen getting into another vehicle. The suspect left Caleb in the backseat of the minivan.
Caleb Castro’s mother, Maria, described the exact moment her son was returned to her. She said, “I grabbed him, when he saw me, he’s like, oh my god, he was happy.”
The Amber Alert was cancelled only hours after the Alert was issued. Caleb Castro was found Thursday evening eight miles away from the vehicle, he appeared to be safe and unharmed, according to a police statement. The child has been transported to a nearby hospital to undergo a routine examination to determine his health and safety following the incident. The suspect remains at large.
— KTLA (@KTLA) January 8, 2016
The police are urging anyone who has information to come forward to help the detectives with their investigation. You can call (323) 887-1313 to provide information, or to leave an anonymous tip to help with the ongoing investigation.
Amber Alerts are not uncommon in Montebello, California. In 2014, an Amber Alert was issued for four boys who went missing, but were found safe.
[Image via Shutterstock]