Authorities in North Carolina said the search for a 4-year-old boy who was reported missing in south Charlotte ended Friday after the boy was found safe.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said Justin Idiarte disappeared from his apartment just before 1 a.m. Friday.
Update 9:40 a.m. EST Nov. 30: Police said he was found safe around 9 a.m. at a neighbor’s apartment.
Justin has been found safe. Thanks to all who helped in the search. pic.twitter.com/xR17q28iSM— CMPD News (@CMPD) November 30, 2018
The boy told police he went to the apartment overnight and told the person who lives there that his parents weren’t at home.
The apartment is less than 100 yards away from his.
Police said officers had been going door-to-door looking for Justin.
Major Mike Smathers: officers found Justin Idiarte after knocking on apartment door for the second time. pic.twitter.com/3aAxQn1zzX— Mark Becker (@MarkBeckerWSOC9) November 30, 2018
Update 9:15 a.m. EST Nov. 30: Police said Justin was found alive and safe around 9 a.m.
No other details were immediately released.
Original report: Maj. Mike Smathers said the boy was last seen around midnight at his apartment. He said the child was in the apartment with his mother, two other younger children, and two teenagers or young adults.
Missing Person: 4 year old Justin Villeda Idiarte was last seen tonight in his apartment in the 6600 block of Montcrest Dr. He is a Hispanic male, approximately 3 ft tall, 40 lbs, w/ short black hair. last seen wearing a gray shirt, green Ninja Turtle sweater, khaki pants pic.twitter.com/stj3H6X4ZI— CMPD News (@CMPD) November 30, 2018
His mother told police she thought she heard Justin get up to go to the bathroom. She fell back asleep and then realized her son was no longer in the apartment.
Family members looked on their own for roughly 30 minutes before calling the police, Smathers said.
Smathers also said Justin does not speak English but does recognize his name when he hears it. The boy does not have any disabilities or cognitive issues that police have been made aware of.
Just got an update from police:— Gina Esposito (@GinaWSOC9) November 30, 2018
-The boy only speaks Spanish, but would recognize his name.
-Mother was asleep. She briefly woke up because she thought he was going to the bathroom. Realized he was gone.
-Family searched for 30mins-1hr before notifying police. @wsoctv https://t.co/Y4AdkP4FOk
Smathers said the biggest challenge police are facing is a language barrier with the family, and that Spanish-speaking detectives were called to help with interviews. He said the family is cooperating.
The entrance to the apartments was blocked by police, who had set up a mobile command post as they searched for Justin.
The boy is described as having short black hair and was last seen wearing a gray shirt, a green Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sweater, khaki pants, and black and brown shoes with white laces.
Authorities used a bloodhound to try to track Justin but were unsuccessful. Police also deployed their helicopter over the neighborhood to help in the search. The aircraft has a heat-sensing device, and firefighters were using handheld devices to check all the bodies of water in and around the complex.
Smathers said police were worried about the cold temperatures overnight and said all resources available in the county were being used to find the boy.
"This is a full-court press from our department," he said. "All the resources in this county have been brought to bear for this child."
Anyone with information about the boy is asked to call 911 immediately.
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