BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — Police have now canceled an emergency missing child alert after a 10-year-old boy was found after leaving a Department of Human Resources (DHR) building in Bessemer. He was missing for over 5 hours.
According to a post on social media by the Bessemer Police Department, Gabriel Surrett left the DHR building on 20th St. and First Ave. North. He was last seen at 4:55 p.m. walking east toward Carolina Ave, police said.
“He was wearing the clothing in the picture and was carrying a blue and black backpack that rolls,” Bessemer police said in the post. “He’s 4 feet 7 inches tall and weighs 78 pounds.”
Bessemer Police and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency both told CBS 42 Friday night that they did not know whether the boy was in state custody when he went missing. But Surrett’s aunt, Teresa, said that Gabriel has been in state custody for about a month. Teresa Surrett said that police had not released any additional details to the family as of 10 p.m. Friday night, more than five hours after the boy disappeared. The media was alerted to the child being located before family members.
Surrett said that incidents like this harm the relationship between the community and DHR.
“As an aunt and mother, I think this is ridiculous, unprofessional, and downright dangerous,” she said. “We are supposed to trust these people to take care of our children who are put in their custody.”
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Surrett is asked to call Bessemer police at (205) 425-2411 or Det. McCay at (205) 565-1320 with any information on his location.