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Durham police: Missing 4-year-old boy fell asleep in closet

Posted July 25, 2013

A 4-year-old boy who was the subject of a statewide Amber Alert early Thursday was found safe inside his home after he fell asleep in a closet, Durham police said.
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— A 4-year-old boy who was the subject of a statewide Amber Alert early Thursday was found safe inside his home after he fell asleep in a closet, Durham police said. 

Ari Yanitan Aguilar-Castillo came out of the closet about 7 a.m., five hours after the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons issued its Amber Alert. He was uninjured. 

Ari's brother told WRAL News that the boy was playing hide-and-seek with another sibling and hid inside his mother's closet. As he was hiding on top of a box underneath a pile of clothing, Ari fell asleep, his brother said. 

The family called Ari's name several times after they could not locate him late Wednesday, and Durham police searched the apartment, in the 700 block of Liberty Street, prior to issuing the Amber Alert.

According to the alert, authorities believed that Ari was taken by a 45-year-old white man wearing a white T-shirt and red hat. It wasn't clear if a person matching that description was in the area of the apartment late Wednesday.

Durham police did not release more information following the cancellation of the alert. 

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  • btneast Jul 26, 12:47 p.m.

    I guess this woman doesn't do very well in a crisis.

    Most people don't, especially when their children are involved. I thought someone had grabbed my 3 year old in TJ Maxx many years ago when we suddenly could not find her. She was playing hide and seek under the clothes racks and was intentionally not answering us. We found her in a matter of minutes, but the fear that your child has been abducted and you may never get her back is unimaginable. Your first thought is to alert authorities as quickly as you can to increase your odds of getting them back. You truly do not think straight.

  • so you dont like my opinion ok Jul 26, 12:21 p.m.

    @@@ Pseudonym@@@ These parents are the reason why people don't pay attention to these dumb Amber Alerts. The intention was noble, but the system is abused and it doesn't work.

    Silly wabbit, police advise to post Amber Alerts....

  • gabrielbigg99 Jul 25, 6:23 p.m.

    Thank God he is safe, the what matters, and that social workers talk to this child's parents

  • beaulahjackson4 Jul 25, 4:59 p.m.

    "However, I would also do my own due diligence by searching absolutely everywhere around the house before an Amber Alert gets issued. Cry Wolf enough and folks start ignoring them."

    I thought the same thing, especially since there are 2 other siblings. The brother when questioned after the child was reported missing explained the "hide & go seek" being played earlier. Does this mean the mother didn't even question the other 2 siblings? Was her first reaction to panic and accuse some stranger of snatching up her child? Don't you check the home prior to contacting police and wasting the police and public’s time and money? I guess this woman doesn't do very well in a crisis. And I guess I just don't understand people. I must say that I was very relieved to hear the child wasn't missing or taken.

  • LeftIntentions Jul 25, 4:01 p.m.

    Kids will be kids...

  • wayneboyd Jul 25, 3:34 p.m.

    I lost my son at Kerr Lake for about 25 second several years ago, He just seconds before been standing in the water just above his ankles. I walked back to my car which was only about 30 feet from where I was standing. When I picked up the beach towel and looked back at where he was there was a huge circle of waves about 10 feet out from where he'd been standing. My first thought was that was where he went down I screamed and went into the water. I nearly drowned myself, I came up screaming absolutely livid with fear. For what was in actuality only less than 2 minutes I lived a horriying lifetime. No, when your child goes missing all sense of reasoning leaves, you can think of nothing but your child. It turned out that he'd walked behind me when I went for the beach towel and while I was getting it out of the car he went around behind it.
    Thank God the rescue people and those who issue these alerts don't take a wait and see attitude. I know places I'd rather see them cut dollars.

  • JustAName Jul 25, 3:29 p.m.

    Why is this still a top headline?

  • umop apisdn Jul 25, 3:20 p.m.

    Where did the 45YO white male come from? And are we talking white hispanic or what?

  • Barely Jul 25, 3:20 p.m.

    If I had a nickel for every time I got lost in a closet and just decided to go to sleep.

  • bgrmom Jul 25, 3:17 p.m.

    At what point do we, as the public, start ignoring these Amber Alerts? There have been too many false reports lately. If my child were missing, I would want everyone to do everything within their power to find them. However, I would also do my own due diligence by searching absolutely everywhere around the house before an Amber Alert gets issued. Cry Wolf enough and folks start ignoring them.

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