DENVER — A 2-year-old boy who was the subject of an Amber Alert in Denver Saturday was found safe, Denver police said. The Amber Alert was canceled around 4:50 p.m.
The child was inside a vehicle that was stolen around 2:30 p.m. on the 900 block of S. Quebec Street in Denver.
"We just got done with our daughter's cheerleading practice," said Marquis Jones, the boy's father. "(Jayleel's Mom, Corra Smith) went into the store to get some soft drinks."
Jones said he and Smith had parked side by side, and that Jayleel was asleep in Corra's car.
"The vehicle was running," said Cmdr. Matt Clark of the Denver Police Department's Major Crimes Division. "An unknown person entered the driver's side of the vehicle and left the parking lot."
Clark said both parents attempted to stop the thief but didn't succeed.
He added that officers began searching the area in a grid pattern, and that one of them spotted the black KIA, still running, along Exposition Avenue just south of George Washington High School.
An employee at a nearby car wash, who asked to remain anonymous, said he noticed the police chopper flying overhead and wondered what was going on.
"I realized it was probably related to the Amber Alert," he said.
Moments later he saw police surrounding the vehicle with guns drawn.
"We backed up," he said, "and then all of a sudden, they opened the door and pulled the kid out."
"I got to see the child," Cmdr. Clark said. "He is awake, alert, obviously scared, but happy to be back with his parents."
Family members are ecstatic.
"I'm so blessed right now, and so happy that my nephew is alive and well," said the boy's aunt, Ebony Smith.
Another aunt, DeJanay Smith said, "I just give all the praise to the Lord right now, because without him, my nephew would not be found."
Smith carried her son to a waiting ambulance.
Police said he was being taken to a local hospital for observation.
Jones said officers pointed weapons at Corra and him, after they went speeding up the road to catch the man who took Corra's car.
Cmdr. Clark said he wasn't aware of that.
He said officers involved are glad this incident had a positive ending and that Jayleel is okay.
Clark added that the suspect was nowhere to be found.
He said there are security cameras at nearby businesses, and a halo camera at the intersection of South Monaco and Exposition, which police will be reviewing.
Police are asking anyone who may have seen the man who took the car and dropped it off, described as a bald, white male in his 20s or 30s, wearing black shorts and a black hoodie over a gray shirt, to contact Crime Stoppers. That number is: 720-913-7867.