Local News

Charlotte Police Find Missing Cary Boy, Subdue Mother

Posted August 1, 2007 11:09 p.m. EDT
Updated August 2, 2007 11:43 a.m. EDT

— An Amber Alert for a missing 18-month-old boy from Cary was canceled Wednesday night after police found him and his mother in Charlotte.

The boy, Enrique "Ricky" James Lazo Jr., was reported missing Monday afternoon in Cabarrus County, where his father had taken him for a weeklong supervised visit with his mother, Rene Rachelle Lazo, 28.

Charlotte police took her into custody at about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday after spotting her Geo Prizm near Interstate 85, northeast of Charlotte.

Authorities said when they initially tried to stop her, Lazo struck a police cruiser with her car and kept on driving. Police were able to corner her nearby. Police said Lazo had a knife and that they had to use a Taser to subdue her.

She was transported to Carolinas Medical Center-University, authorities said. Cabarrus County Sheriff's Office investigators said they had received word that Ricky was uninjured.

Ricky's father, Enrique James Lazo, said he was "very happy, excited and relieved at the news." He drove to Charlotte late Wednesday to pick up his son.

The North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety issued an Amber Alert for the 18-month-old Wednesday, two days after the child was reported missing.

Earlier Wednesday in an interview with WRAL, Enrique Lazo expressed frustration with the two-day delay.

"Am I happy with their decision?" he said. "No, of course, I'm not. Do I respect their decision? Yes, I very much do. That's how the judicial system works."

State officials said that Ricky's case did not initially meet the criteria for a statewide Amber Alert because he was taken by a parent.

When it became clear that Ricky might be in danger, the Department of Crime Control quickly sent out the alert on highways and the airwaves, spokeswoman Julia Jarema said.

"If every missing person's case would be an Amber Alert, then people would be desensitized to it, and people wouldn't be on the lookout," Jarema said.

For an Amber Alert to be issued, the missing person must also be in immediate danger, under 17 years old and not a runaway. A law-enforcement agency must report the abduction, according to the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons.