Local News

Police: 3-year-old was never missing

Posted May 20, 2008

— Unanswered questions surround the Amber Alert case of a 3-year-old, including the child's name and whereabouts, after authorities said Tuesday that the child never disappeared from a Smithfield flea market.

"It did not occur here, and it wasn't as it was originally reported," Chief Steve Gillikin said at a news conference. "So, the child was never in any danger whatsoever."

The boy, reportedly named Siraj Munir "Roji" Davenport, was safe with family members Tuesday morning, Gillikin said, although he said he was not sure with whom.

Nor did he say where, but a close friend of the boy's family told WRAL he was overseas.

"The child was never at the flea market. We know that for a fact," Gillikin added. "The child was never here in Smithfield during the incident."

The chief declined to elaborate further about the case, saying only that the joint investigation with the FBI is ongoing. The FBI, also, would not comment.

It is still unclear whether charges will be filed against the woman identified as the boy's mother, Rosnah Thomason. Gillikin said that would likely be determined at the conclusion of the investigation.

"We're still talking with her. She's still being interviewed, and she still has information we would like to get," he said.

But those who know Thomason said they there is more to her story, although they would not elaborate.

"We don't believe it was a hoax," Keayona Hawkins said. "We don't believe she would lie about something like that – that she definitely would not neglect her son in any way."

State authorities issued the Amber Alert on Sunday after Thomason reported the boy missing from Brightleaf Flea Market. She said she had been putting produce in her car when she looked up and he was gone.

The Amber Alert was canceled at 12:27 a.m. Tuesday after the boy was found. Gillikin said it was not until midnight that investigators started to realize the case was not as it seemed.

The 911 call, released Monday evening, he said, was the only part of the story investigators have been able to determine happened in Smithfield.

Authorities are also questioning the child's exact name and who his biological parents are.

"There's people involved in this – we don't know, at this particular point, what the relationships are," Gillikin said. "There is a father somewhere. There is a mother somewhere, and that's going to be part of the ongoing investigation.

Local, state and federal investigators searched Sunday and Monday by air, ground and water for the child, and FBI investigators spent most of Monday interviewing Thomason. It was unclear what federal issue brought the FBI into a local missing-child case, and police would not comment.

The Four Oaks community held a candlelight vigil for the child Monday night.

Gillikin called the case frustrating, saying manpower and money that could have been used elsewhere were spent searching for the child.

"And unfortunately, in situations like this, it makes the next one that comes along that much more difficult," he said.

"I think it desensitizes the public to these situations (so) that when they see these in the future there's more of an inclination not to pay that much attention to it," he added. "So, it hurts all around."


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  • DonnaB May 20, 2008

    Did anyone bother to READ the article? Look:

    "There's people involved in this – we don't know, at this particular point, what the relationships are," Gillikin said. "There is a father somewhere. There is a mother somewhere, and that's going to be part of the ongoing investigation."

    The inference here is that the woman who called in the missing child report IS NOT THE MOTHER.

    Adoption gone awry? Baby selling? Kidnapping? There are a thousand scenarios that fit the few facts we know.

    Bottom line: the little boy is safe.

    So everybody untwist your knickers. The investigation continues. Details will be made public in good time. Save your outrage until we hear the rest of the story.

  • GodBless May 20, 2008

    My heart was aching for this child last night during the storms. I thought he may have been lost out there amid thunder and lightning. this woman does not even have a clue as to what pain she caused others!

  • denverbob234 May 20, 2008

    when our laws are not taken seriously, which the are not in this country, there is no consequence for individual actions. How can you prosecute these people for filing a false police report when our immigration laws are not enforced. Which laws will be chosen next week to be enforced or ignored. Can I rob a bank next week, or will it be 3 weeks before that law is over-looked?

  • howdiditgettothis May 20, 2008

    No blame here --- other than filing a false report.

    And YES, she should have to pay restitution (or "damages") for filing a false report.

    Until we start holding people accountable for THEIR CHOICES and ACTIONS, then the leeches of our society will continue to suck away the benefits from the working class poor who are paying for everyone else's ride.

    Hundreds of people spent lots of time ON THE CLOCK (and off the clock, I imagine), and no - I do not think my tax dollars should be used for someone who files a false report.

    Of course it is GOOD NEWS that the boy was found. No one would argue that. Problem was - he was apparently never "lost."

  • grumpyoldman May 20, 2008

    Come on people.... we are American taxpayers. We should feel sorry for her, and her ways. Just let us pay the way like we always do. It is only money.....

    Yeah right. That is the problem. We keep paying and paying. And the governments want more so they keep raising our taxes. It is time for us to step up to the polls as American taxpayers and let them know we are tired of paying for everything and higher taxes.

    Let the criminals pay for their actions.

    And if the child was with relatives, why did it take so long for them to report that he was ok. Even with the name confusion, the picture was all over the television.....

    This is a prime example of the American hard earned tax dollars at work.....

  • mike honcho May 20, 2008

    An AMBER alert is a very serious situation, if people continue to file false AMBER reports we will ALL stop paying close attention to them. WOLF!

  • YankeeinNC May 20, 2008

    "I don't think I have ever heard an American name used in an amber alert."

    This is the dumbest comment I have ever read on this website.

  • Me-N-Nc May 20, 2008

    I have a question, I was on 85 coming back from VA and saw the Amber Alert sign telling me to call 511. I called, but I do not think this NEW notice is very effective. It was raining hard so I pondered if I should call and I did. But I really wish if a tag or vehicle description is involved they would post it. One I will watch for the tag and car and two, I am not one the phone while I am driving. Just my 2 cents. Glad the boy is safe physical, but his mental situation should be now be the focus.

  • hayco May 20, 2008

    This whole story and situation makes no sense whatsoever.

  • grenlyn1 May 20, 2008

    The REAL story now is..the boy is safe. Regardless of what happened or who is to blame...the boy is safe. What doesn't matter is the amount of man hours spent, but the big hearts of those involved and how this incident brought a community together over a 48 hour period is commendable. This will not affect the next 'missing child' or "amber alert" because we are a society that loves children and will do anything to protect them from harms way. No one should lose sight of that. I am glad this little boy is safe and sound. It is my only hope that the adults in this incident get the help they need because I can not imagine any sane person doing this to a loving community.