2 charged in disappearance of 10-year-old at center of Amber Alert
Boy found safe in Jacksonville after he disappeared leaving Argyle Elementary
CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Two women are in the Clay County jail in connection with Thursday's disappearance of a 10-year-old boy that resulted in a statewide Amber Alert.
Ondreja Olyvia Chaniece Ciprian, 23, and Vachastity Tahivy Raqkeil Christian, 25, are each charged with interference with the custody of a child and giving false information to a law enforcement officer regarding a missing person.
Hours after the boy disappeared Thursday while walking home from Argyle Elementary School, he was found safe at a home in Jacksonville.
The women's arrest reports indicate that the boy is being raised by a grandmother after his parents lost custody of him. The reports said that Ciprian has been trying to convince the boy to come live with her, "without the grandmother's knowledge or consent," over the last couple of weeks. She has no legal parental rights to the child.
Based on the redacted reports Clay County has released, the relationship between the women and the child remains unclear, as does the motive. According to court records, the women live together at the Westside home where the boy was found. They will appear together in court together Saturday.
"It wasn't a straight abduction, where we have to have concern from the parents or any(body) walking their kids to school," said John Ward, director of safety and security of the Clay County School District.
According to the Clay County Sheriff's Office, surveillance video showed the boy leaving school property with friends just before 3 p.m. on his red scooter. As they were walking down Spencer Plantation Boulevard near Watermill Drive, according to deputies, the boy started a conversation with at least one person in a silver sedan. When his friends looked back, the boy and the car were gone.
As officers went door to door searching for the boy and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued an Amber Alert, investigators worked to identify known relatives in the area and were sent to Ciprian's home on Necia Drive South in Jacksonville, deputies said.
Christian was at the home when police arrived and officers saw the T-shirt the boy had been wearing at school that day draped over a fence in plain view, according to the arrest reports.
When Ciprian came home, she gave deputies permission to search the house and deputies located the boy in a back bedroom about 9 p.m., the arrest reports said.
While neither woman was charged with kidnapping, other charges are always possible.
"They can charge anyone with kidnapping if they abduct someone against their own will," News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said. "Even a family member, of course, if there were certain circumstances."
The boy was checked out at a hospital and then returned to his grandmother.
Ward said extra personnel and counselors were at the school Friday to help children and parents with questions and to make sure everyone is safe.
"(Children should) mention to their teachers they'd like to talk to somebody," Ward said. "We have professionals here that can help them through this trying situation they dealt with last night."
One parent told News4Jax their children were pretty upset.
"We had a long talk about it," the parent said. "They were concerned about safety and things like that, but they know what to do. They are educated. They will be fine."
Editor's note: News4Jax is not using the child's name or photo because he is no longer endangered.
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