Local News

Search continues, vigil planned for missing Smithfield boy

Posted May 19, 2008

— Local, state and federal investigators continued air and ground searches Monday for a 3-year-old boy who disappeared from a Smithfield flea market Sunday.

Meanwhile, family friends have planned a candlelight vigil for Siraj Munir "Roji" Davenport, for whom state authorities issued an Amber Alert Sunday. The vigil starts at 8 p.m. at Barbour's Grove Park in Four Oaks.

The boy's mother told police she was loading produce at Brightleaf Flea Market into her car and that when she looked up, he was gone. She looked for him for about an hour before calling police, investigators said.

"Every minute that goes by is another minute we don't know where the kid is," Smithfield Police Chief Steve Gillikin said Monday. "We're doing everything we can to find him and looking for a positive ending."

A state Highway Patrol helicopter flew over the area surrounding the flea market Monday and Johnston County sheriff's deputies led a ground search.

Search crews and volunteers also searched Sunday afternoon but suspended the search in the early evening because of weather.

Gillikin said police are following all leads and looking into all possibilities about what might have happened to cause Roji to disappear.

"He'd have never walked away from her," said Tammy Locklear, a close family friend. "He was just well mannered."

"I think it's too early to say it's an abduction," Gillikin said. "I mean the kid disappeared, and there are lots of cases where kids wander off or walk into the woods or different areas."

Anyone who might have seen Roji's or know where he might be should contact Johnston County Emergency Services at 919-934-9411 or call 911 or the state Highway Patrol at *HP on their cellular phones.

"(His mother's) hurting a lot," Locklear said. "I've talked to her several times today and it's just heartbreaking to them and me and others."


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  • leo-nc May 19, 2008

    They should have put SEARCH K9's in there first, before people trampled all over the place. Not police K9's, not volunteers, but qualified search K9's. If there is no scent article for a trailing dog, then put in an air scent dog.

    In addition, if they are searching the river, cadaver dogs would be appropriate. Lesson learned. I hope that if this ever happens again in Johnston County, they will do that. It can save time and the chances of finding someone are a lot higher.

    I hope they find him alive and safe.

  • diwanicki May 19, 2008

    I hope he is found safe and soon.

  • happymom May 19, 2008

    Praying that this baby will be found safe and sound.

  • monday May 19, 2008

    There have been several attempted abductions in the area lately, by a man fitting a similiar description. Are the police looking into sex offender registries and following up on the man with the blond hair and Jeep who was identified as attempting abductions several times. I have encountered a man who also fit the descriptiona and was so afraid he would strike and take a child. I pray that this little boy is found safe.

  • wtsbfan May 19, 2008

    This is hitting too close to home for me. I know Raji and he is just a sweetheart. Huge brown eyes and an amazing smile. I tried to volunteer but I was told they had enough search teams out looking for him. The Neuse river borders the flea market on one side. Behind the flea market is a big field then a subdivision which is surronded by acres of woods. I grew up in the subdivision and it is a huge heavly wooded area to search. I played and rode three wheelers in those woods for 15 years. They could have 100's of people searching and it wouldn't be enough.

  • MamaDummy May 19, 2008

    I hope and pray the baby is found alive & healthy

  • hooptie1964 May 19, 2008

    Wouldn't the people gathering for the vigil have a more useful purpose? Maybe searching nearby wooded areas instead of standing around with candles?

    Sorry, being practical.

  • 2headstrong May 19, 2008

    Heck with a vigil - all those people could be out LOOKING for this child!

  • Redd May 19, 2008

    Praying he is found safe. God bless him!!

  • b4self May 19, 2008

    Amber alert just went out again 4:00pm and now they say no abductors imformation available at this time , guess they are considering abduction now ,this really is not looking good.Let's all keep a special look out for this baby.