Durham, N.C. — A 2-year-old boy who was reported missing from a downtown Durham bus terminal was found early Monday and returned to his mother, who screamed with joy when she saw him.
Zy’ion D’youate McCallum was found inside a home on Potter Street and reunited with his mother at Durham police headquarters about 4:30 a.m.
“I sat here all night waiting on my son to return, and I’m just glad that I can lay eyes on him and that he’s safe,” Latara Robinson said after an emotional reunion with her boy. “It was a joy because I was really able to see my child alive and breathing. I really didn’t know where he was or what was going on with him or what someone could have done to him.”
Durham police had asked for the public’s help Sunday in finding the child and said he may be with a woman named Jazmine Johnson or Jazmine Jackson. They confirmed Monday that the child was with the woman in her Potter Street home.
No charges were filed against Jasmine Johnson, 18, who said she never kidnapped the child and it was all a misunderstanding.
She told WRAL News that she ran into Zy'ion and his 15-year-old aunt at the Durham Area Transit Authority station about 1 p.m. Saturday. The aunt asked Johnson to take the 2-year-old for a couple of hours. Johnson agreed, saying she had watched the child before and thought Zy'ion was the aunt's son.
After a few hours, Johnson said, she began calling the aunt to come get the boy, but the number didn't work. By Sunday, she drove to the aunt's apartment and didn't find her.
Johnson said police officers came to her home around 4 a.m. Monday, and she handed Zy'ion to them. She said investigators apparently tried to call her before then, but the aunt had given them a phone number with the last two digits transposed.
According to detectives, the aunt was supposed to take the boy to a park.
Robinson said she doesn't know Johnson. She said the child’s clothes and diaper had been changed.
“Mostly, I just want to know who these people were. I want to actually see them,” she said. “It looks to me that he was not harmed. They were actually trying to take care of him, and to them I do want to say thank you for keeping him safe.”
State authorities never issued an Amber Alert for Zy'ion because police did not believe he had been abducted or was in danger, said Nona Best, supervisor for the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons.
Robinson said Monday she won’t be letting Zy’ion out of her sight.
“He is not going anywhere, so nobody has to worry about seeing this child anywhere else,” she said.