Crime scene investigators, specially trained police dogs, and the Dallas County medical examiner were seen at a landfill in Rowlett, according to Fox46.
Family and police sources said the boy is dead, reported the WFAA. “He’s dead. He’s gone,” the boy’s aunt, Crystal Jackson told the media.
There are no clear reports about how he died or if his body is found.
A state-wide amber alert was issued for the toddler on Wednesday after he went missing from his aunt’s home in Dallas, Texas, and a close relative was being questioned in the case, according to the police.
The Dallas Police Department (DPD) sought public assistance in finding 18-month-old Cedric Jackson, who was recently put in the temporary custody of an aunt.
The aunt told the police that she put the toddler to sleep after 11 p.m. on Tuesday and discovered that he was missing the next day morning.
WFAA reports that the aunt told the police that Jackson was wearing only a diaper when she last saw him.
“A juvenile witness, who lives at the location, described someone who looked like a relative as having taken Cedric at some point during the night,” said Maj. Max Geron during a news conference.
Police said the witness did not talk about it until the next morning because she was frightened.
Geron described the alleged abductor as a “step-grandparent.”
An Amber alert was issued for the child at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday and detectives were canvassing the neighborhood and also interviewing the family members, including the child’s parents and the aunt.
Geron said during the press conference that the police were looking for the child in multiple areas and were reaching out to those who know the family. The FBI was working on the case after the DPD sought help, according to the press release.
Meanwhile, the detectives located the relative that was named by the juvenile witness, but Jackson was not found with him. He’s currently in jail in Keller, Texas, on unrelated warrants.
It’s not clear where the child’s dead body was found and more information has not yet been released.
Geron said the police still don’t know who took the child away. “We don’t know if that suspect is the person in custody in Keller or if we are looking for a separate suspect that has a similar description,” Geron told WFAA.
Jackson’s parents talked with the media outside the DPD headquarters after being interviewed by the detectives following the issuing of the amber alert.
“We just want everybody to know that we love our son, and we just want him back safe and sound,” mother Dishundra Thomas said, according to WFAA.
Thomas told the media that her son was placed in her aunt’s custody by Child Protection Services (CPS) and it was as per her will. She said there were issues that she “had to deal with to become a better mother.”
What to Do if a Child Goes Missing?
For anyone that needs help with a child gone missing, Safe Wise suggests the following actions:
You should call law enforcement as soon as possible instead of spending time looking for the child yourself. There’s no waiting time for reporting missing children below 18 years of age and the child’s name will be added to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Missing Person File immediately. A Be On the Look Out (BOLO) alert will be sent to all nearby police jurisdictions.
Present facts about your missing child in an organized way so that authorities can do their work swiftly. Keep a picture of the child that clearly shows the child’s distinguishable characteristics.
After law enforcement agencies have been notified, you can start looking for the child in your vicinity.
Make sure you are available to coordinate with law enforcement in the search efforts in the next 48 hours—this period is very critical.
Once you have informed the local authorities, they can also contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678), who can assist you and the authorities in your search.