Local News

Questions remain in Amber Alert hoax

Posted January 1, 2009 5:33 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:11 p.m. EDT

— More than seven months after an Amber Alert was issued for a Johnston County boy who was never missing, local and federal authorities continue to investigate the hoax.

A woman said 3-year-old Siraj Munir "Roji" Davenport disappeared from Brightleaf Flea Market, on U.S. Highway 301 South in Smithfield, on May 18 while she was loading groceries in her car.

Smithfield police, Johnston County deputies and the FBI searched for the boy on the ground and with the aid of a helicopter for three days before determining he hadn't been abducted and the report of his disappearance was false.

Investigators haven't said whether the woman who made the report, Rosnah Thomason, was the boy's mother.

"She say, 'I lost my boy,'" said Medel Flores, who owns a store at the flea market and was working when Thomason reported the boy missing.

Flores said the woman was reluctant to call 911.

"She say, 'No, I wait a little bit,'" she said.

A friend of the family told WRAL News the child was actually overseas at the time the report was made.

The FBI declined to comment on the case, saying it remains under investigation.

David Davenport, the boy's father, was reportedly out of the country at the time. He said Thursday the his son doesn't live with him anymore. He didn't elaborate on the boy's whereabouts.

When they determined the case was a hoax in May, investigators said the boy was safe and with family.

Davenport said he wants to tell his side of the story, but he can't because of the FBI investigation.

"There might be a point in time in the future when I can," he said.

Thomason still lives with him, he said.

People who helped search for the boy said the hoax still frustrates them.

"You sit and wonder, why would someone do something like this? Maybe she had her reasons (for having) all the people looking," said Wendy Ivey, who assisted in the ground search.