JSO: Possible child abduction no longer investigated as such
Detectives don't believe child was abducted, still want to talk to Otvos
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Officials told News4Jax that the possible child abduction behind a Walmart parking lot is no longer being worked as a child abduction.
Detectives have been able to obtain surveillance video and go backwards prior to the 911 call placed to police about a possible child abduction that occurred Saturday night.
Detectives said the child was with the man prior, and during, the trip to Walmart on Hutchinson Park Drive behind the Regency Square Mall.
Police still want to speak with 31-year-old Gheorghe Otvos who a witness reported seeing violently grab a young boy in the parking lot of the Walmart behind the Regency Square Mall. The witness told police the man put the boy in the back seat of a silver 2016 Nissan Versa and drive away.
JSO said the incident happened around 7:45 p.m. Saturday on Hutchinson Park Drive.
Investigators said the witness was able to take a photo of the vehicle involved showing Florida tag GZTB73. Melissa Bujeda, JSO Public Information Officer, said the vehicle was rented by Otvos, a Romanian who lives in the Hallandale Beach area, near Miami. JSO has been in contact with officers in that jurisdiction who went to Otvos' home and no one was there.
Bujeda said there are no reports of any children missing locally, so they need to find out who the child is and determine whether he or others who were in the vehicle are safe. They were hoping this was not a child abduction, but were not taking any chances.
Bujeda said officers were trying to find out if Otvos had a young son.
"We are very fortunate that we had a very good witness who actually followed the vehicle for a while and was able to take a picture of the vehicle and get that information to us right away," Bujeda said. "That was a very good starting point."
Anyone who sees Otvos or the vehicle is asked to call JSO at 904-630-0500. You can also leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
To see the entire raw JSO news conference with JSO, click here.
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