An AMBER Alert is currently in effect in multiple states after a little boy was reportedly kidnapped by two masked men. CBS News reports that five-year-old Kenneth White was reported missing by his 19-year-old babysitter, who claims that she was held down by the men who took the child, but very few other details are available other than the fact that the babysitter is the daughter of the missing boy’s legal guardian.
The child’s parents reportedly do not have custody of him. His mother lives in Amsterdam and his father lives in Massachusetts. Reports aren’t indicating whether the child’s current guardians are family members or foster parents. The details of the abduction, as vague as they are, indicate that two males entered the home wearing black clothing and ski masks. One of the intruders was white, but reports aren’t indicating whether both of them were or not. Eyewitness News 3 reports that police aren’t sure of a possible motive in this alleged abduction, but a custody dispute could be behind it. Since both parents do not have custody of the boy, it’s a logical conclusion to investigate a possible custody motive for his kidnapping. Currently, the AMBER Alert is in effect for New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts.
It’s also being reported that two other children were in the home when Kenneth White was abducted. Both children are under the age of five and were reportedly not harmed or targeted in Thursday’s alleged kidnapping. Police in three states are seeking only the one child. Kenneth is described white, with brown hair and brown eyes. He stands at around 3’5″ and is 45 to 50 lbs. When he was reportedly kidnapped, he was last seen wearing denim jeans and a white short sleeved shirt.
The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children notes that stereotypical child abduction is incredibly rare. In most cases, children are abducted by their own family members, usually over custodial issues. In the rare cases of stranger abduction, the child victims are ordinarily killed, held overnight, or kept with the intent to have permanently. Fortunately for the victims of kidnappings, the AMBER Alert program has rescued over 700 children.
The search for Kenneth White has continued throughout the afternoon with little success, but his case is garnering national attention through social media and mainstream media reporting. People in more than three states are on the lookout for the child and two possible suspects, even though the AMBER Alert is only active in the three states. The clock is ticking for the child to be found safely if this disappearance is the result of a stranger abduction. If the child has been kidnapped as a result of custodial issues between his parents and his legal guardian, it’s only a matter of time before authorities get to the bottom of it.
[Photo credit: New York State Police/Flyer created by Chelsea Hoffman]