Police seek man who abducted 7-year-old

Boy taken from Madison Sunday night found 12 hours later in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Local, state and federal agencies are looking for a man believed to have abducted a 7-year-old boy from Madison, Florida, on Sunday night. The boy was found safe early Monday morning about 100 miles away on Jacksonville's Westside.

An Amber Alert was issued Sunday night after Bryan Williamson disappeared from Northeast Gibson Trailer Parkway, off U.S. 90, in the city northwest of Live Oak. Witnesses said he was playing outside when he was abducted by a man driving a black four-door sedan.

JSO said Bryan knocked at the door of a home on Hammond Boulevard, five blocks off Interstate 10, about 6:20 a.m. Monday. The homeowner recognized the boy from the Amber Alert notifications and called 911

"The boy is safe," JSO Public Information Officer Melissa Bujeda told News4Jax just before 9 a.m. "He has not been harmed and we're very thankful for that."

UNCUT: Police carry Bryan Williamson from home

"While we have received many tips, we have not yet identified the person (who took the boy)," Madison's Police Chief Ken Moore said Monday afternoon. "Together, I feel confident that we will identify this person and help restore comfort in our community."

Dozens of agencies are working together to try to find the man who was driving the dark, likely black four-door sedan. They are asking anyone with information to call 800-CALL-FBI.

The homeowner who took the boy in told News4Jax that said she heard a soft knock on the door and the boy asked if she could take him to his mother's house. She gave Bryan cereal as they waited for authorities to arrive. 

The woman's granddaughter, Hailey Reed, said the boy appeared to be OK, just scared and wanting his mother. She said the boy claimed that he was taken by a man whom he'd seen before who took him to a house and made him take a bath and change clothes.

It was especially emotional for Reed because she is pregnant.

"I was just really happy that he got to be with his family again," Reed said. "I didn’t want to happen what happened to Lonzie (Barton) and them to happen to this family."

Bryan was kept at the home for about three hours before he was carried to a police car to be driven to the Federal Department of Law Enforcement office, where he was reunited with his family.

Bryan's parents drove to Jacksonville after being told that he was found safe. His mother said the family went to two different stores Sunday evening and Bryan was to walk back home with his aunt, but when his mother got home, Bryan wasn't there.

"I come back, (and) they said, 'He's missing,'" Christina Stanley told News4Jax. "I said, 'Don't be playing games with me.' And they looked everywhere. And that's when they called the police."

Upon learning that Bryan was found safe, Stanley said she was just relieved.

"That's my baby," Stanley said.

"In police work, a lot of times there's not many days you can smile, and today is one of those days that we're all smiling," Bujeda said.

The woman at the home did not see anyone with the boy, but police are asking anyone who saw the boy dropped off or who saw the car between Madison and Marietta to call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is the primary investigating agency and the FBI is assisting in the case.


About the Authors:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.