JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 5-year-old Nassau County boy who was the focus of a Florida Missing Child Alert was found by Jacksonville police with his mother and is safe, authorities said Wednesday night.
The alert was canceled just before 6 p.m.
Camden Cunningham's mother, 25-year-old Adrienna Rachelle Jones, was taken into custody by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and later released, authorities said. She is not facing any criminal charges.
A woman who identified herself as Jones spoke to News4Jax after the alert was issued and said the boy was OK and was with her.
But the Nassau County Sheriff said his deputies needed to see the boy to verify that he was alright.
Camden had last been seen on Nassau Oaks Drive in Callahan, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
The FDLE said Camden might be in the company of his mother and her boyfriend, 33-year-old James Allen Anderson.
Jones was supposed to bring Camden to a child custody hearing this week, but the Florida Department of Children and Families said they never showed up.
“She was supposed to show up in court. She failed to show up for that for the hearing, so there will be some issues there, but we just want to make sure the child is OK,” Sheriff Bill Leeper said before Camden was found.
After news broke that Camden was the focus of a state search, a woman who identified herself as Jones sent News4Jax a picture of Camden and said he was OK and was in her custody.
“He is happy. He is loved. That is my best friend,” the woman said. “There’s food here. There’s drinks. He is watching SpongeBob right now.”
Jones said she didn't understand why a missing child alert was issued for Camden.
“I don’t even know what the accusations are for it to be going so public,” Jones said.
Those close to Jones said she wanted to get in touch with DCF to clear the air.
Jones said she left town for her safety and that she would bring Camden back to Nassau County. Authorities then announced that Camden and Jones were in the custody of JSO and were safe.
Camden was turned over to DCF custody.
DCF spokesman John Harrell said they were “very concerned” about Camden's well-being, and they wanted "to see the child as soon as possible.” He would not get into specifics of the case, but said DCF would typically assess a child’s home situation as part of the process to determine if a child should be taken into protective custody.
News4Jax learned there have been 34 calls for service at Jones' home since February 2016, including several regarding child or adult abuse or neglect. A follow-up investigation visit took place the day before Camden went missing.