Local News

Durham toddler found safe in nearby home after Amber Alert

Posted November 12, 2012
Updated November 13, 2012

— A missing Durham toddler who was the subject of an Amber Alert Monday has been found safe after a nearly seven-hour search, police said.

An Amber Alert was issued for 2-year-old Kameron Jakise Hembry shortly before 7 p.m. It was canceled around 9 p.m. when volunteer searchers going door to door found the child inside a nearby home. There were adults inside that home, but no other details were released about what happened to the child or why he was there.

"They had the child through that door," said Bishop Arnold Harris, a neighbor who helped with the search. "The officers told us to stay back right here because they didn't want to startle him. We didn't know the child was in the house. We were just knocking on houses."

"This was a miracle. It was just a blessing," Harris said.

He added that he believes the adults in the house knew Kameron was missing.

"You know they had to know. We had TV and all this stuff," Harris said. "There's no way in the world you couldn't know."

The boy appeared to be okay, but was taken by ambulance to a local hospital.

Kameron was last seen in the 2500 block of South Roxboro Street, just a few buildings down from where he was eventually found, around 2:15 p.m. His mother, Wakise Graham, said she and her son were visiting friends on the street.

Durham toddler found safe after seven-hour search Durham toddler found safe after seven-hour search

She said she was talking to her friend near the car as they got ready to leave, looked down and discovered the boy was gone.

Because Kameron doesn't live in the area, police said he might have been confused by his surroundings.

Police Chief Jose Lopez said earlier Monday that he was committing as many officers as possible to the search. All-terrain vehicles were used to search some nearby woods, and tracking dogs and lights were brought in to help the search continue into the night, he said.

Residents within a 2-mile radius were called so they could be on the lookout for Kameron. Many people who live in the area volunteered to assist with the search.


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  • atozca Nov 13, 2012

    some of you have obviously never raised children...there but by the grace of God go I.

  • ICTrue Nov 13, 2012

    Even if a strange kid wanders into your house and you think nothing of it, wouldn't you start thinking that maybe you should check around when you start seeing police cruisers and search parties congregating in the street?

  • shelllauren Nov 13, 2012

    jackflash123-so NOT something that happens to "a huge percentage of wonderful, responsible parents at some point or another" or there would be an amber alert issued every second of every day...

    If the woman didn't know where the baby was INSIDE her own house for a couple minutes, I would be more sympathetic but she was OUTSIDE by a car "talking to a friend" whatever the heck that means...

    I am grateful the baby was found safe but what happens when she talks to a friend next time outside?

  • pedsRN Nov 13, 2012

    Glad the little boy was found safe, but story is weird. Adults with the child should have notified authorities of finding a little boy. This wasn't a stray dog or cat that they found.

  • eyeoneastsky Nov 13, 2012

    Whoever had the child inside the apt intended on keeping the child. We know this because they did not bother to call the police immediately. They had to have found him wandering around and saw some sort of opportunity for something. God only knows the reason why they wanted that child. This should be a warning to all parents. There are people who will snatch your child. Remember John Walsh and his little son Adam who was kidnapped and later found beheaded. I cannot thank God enough for protecting this little one and getting him back to his family.

  • Jack Flash Nov 13, 2012

    I found a 2-year-old walking around outside my house many years ago. I never brought him inside. I talked to him and just stood there with him for a little while, looking around to see if a parent was nearby. When I didn't see anyone, I took him with me and started knocking on doors. I found his family before they even knew he was missing, and they were pretty freaked out and relieved.

    Maybe they mistook the kid for a neighbor's kid who often wandered in... and maybe he hadn't been there long... but there aren't many explanations for why they didn't check around.

  • Jack Flash Nov 13, 2012

    "Talking with a friend near the car. This means that were near the street. This young child was lucky. The mother apparently isn't very responsible."
    That's not a very responsible comment. This is something that happens to a huge percentage of wonderful, responsible parents at some point or another. The appropriate response is just to be grateful for a happy ending, rather than to act as if the parent is a bad person as some sort of security blanket against its happening to you.

  • lizzz38 Nov 13, 2012

    Scubagirl, don't make fun of my typo! And I wasn't the only one who heard on TV this morning that the apt. the little boy was found in was unoccupied. I doubt that he opened the door on his own anyway. I'm waiting to hear more details myself. It just doesn't add up.

  • wenfromwake Nov 13, 2012

    Something smells very fishy about this story. Doesn't add up. CPS will probably need to check this mother out. Poor little boy. And why on earth would this other family hold the child for so long w/o walking around the n'borhood themselves to see who the child belonged to. Strange.

  • lizzz38 Nov 13, 2012

    I wasn't the only one who saw on the news that the apt. was unoccupied. But I do know that everything you hear isn't 100% accurate. Earlier reports may have said that it was an unoccupied apt. I didn't hear that someone handed the boy out the door. It does seem odd that the police didn't want neighbors near that apt. because they might "startle" the boy. It sounds more like they didn't want the neighbors to disturb a potential crime scene. And I feel like the mom was not just walking to her car when her son disappeared. I think she was somewhere else and told the police what would seem more innocent and blameless. I'm glad the little boy wasn't out wandering the streets!