A 14-year-old Toronto boy who was the subject of a province-wide Amber Alert has been found safe but no arrests have been made.
Toronto police shared the announcement on Twitter at 11:05 p.m. on Thursday. Officers said the teen was found at a rural property with a barn on Heritage Road, near Mississauga Road and Sandalwood Parkway West, in Brampton a short time before the announcement was shared. It’s unclear how exactly the boy was found by officers. He was taken to a Toronto hospital for assessment.
“He’s doing fine. He’s sleeping right now,” the boy’s uncle told reporters outside the teen’s North York home, adding he and the rest of the family were relieved when given the news.
“I shouted. I was very happy. And I thanked God.”
The uncle said the 14-year-old, who Global News isn’t identifying, woke up and came outside the barn. He said the suspects took the boy’s clothes, leaving him untied and in a construction uniform, his textbooks and his cellphone.
When it comes to the abduction, the uncle said he didn’t know the suspects and was “fast asleep” the whole time.
“He remembers being taken and he was saying, ‘Help, help!’ But immediately they pushed him inside the car and covered him, and that’s it,” he said.
The boy’s uncle praised Toronto police for issuing an Amber Alert, calling it a “good initiative,” and thanked the public for help.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders held a news conference Friday morning to provide an update on the investigation.
He said the boy was safe despite the fact that his alleged abductors are still at large.
“He probably will be the most-watched young man in the city of Toronto right now,” Saunders said.
“So you’d have to be more than a fool to try to apprehend him or cause any harm to his family.”
Saunders offered no particulars on suspects in the case, including descriptions or the number of people police are seeking.
Despite the assurance by Saunders, the boy’s uncle said the family is still worried.
“Everybody’s nervous. They are not secured,” he said.
It was at around 5:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday when police were contacted by the teen’s father. He was last seen near his home as he was going to school at around 8:30 a.m.
Investigators said he was abducted and forced into a vehicle by at least two male suspects.
A black Jeep Wrangler with oversized front tires and a front push bar with round fog lights was identified by police as the suspect vehicle.
An Amber Alert was issued at around 12 a.m. on Thursday.
Toronto Police Supt. Steve Watts said it’s believed that vehicle was found burned out approximately 55 kilometres away from the Toronto home in a Caledon, Ont., park.
Police said investigators believed the teen was abducted in connection with an unpaid drug debt. It was alleged a relative was involved in the theft of approximately $4 million worth of cocaine.
Saunders said investigators had “limited” contact with the boy’s brother and that they do not know where he is other than that he is “definitely not in the GTA.” It is unclear if the brother is even in Ontario.
He said despite reports to the contrary, investigators did not have any contact with the suspects.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers anonymously.
—With files from The Canadian Press and Jessica Patton