Saturday 14 December 2019

Garda CRI alert called-off as officers continue to look for missing teen

Missing teen was not snatched and bundled in to car by masked men, gardai said

Brian Byrne

GARDAI have stood down a Child Rescue Ireland (CRI) alert after they said they were satisfied a 15-year-old boy earlier believed to have been abducted did not in fact vanish against his own will.

Investigators said they are satisfied Sait Canbullu was not snatched by masked men n Wexford town yesterday afternoon, however his whereabouts is still being treated as a missing persons case and are appealing for witnesses.

Speaking at the Garda Headquarters in Dublin's Phoenix Park today, a garda spokesman said: "Recent developments in this case would indicate that Sait Canbullu was not abducted. On that basis, we are standing down the CRI alert, as the criteria are no longer met.

"We are satisfied there is not an immediate serious risk to the child's welfare.

"However,  he is still a 15-year-old boy, he is a missing person at high risk and we're asking the public to again study the photograph, and if they have any information as to his current whereabouts, to contact gardai."

Motororists, ports and airports were put on high alert amid fears the missing was snatched by two men wearing balaclavas or ski masks.

Asked whether or not the boy had been bundled into a car by men wearing balaclavas, the spokesman said: “That was our information at that point in time. It happened at 1.10pm, we spent a number of hours investigating this thing before we launched this CRI alert.

"Those checks at that point in time, and with the information that we had at that point in time, the criteria were met and we launched a CRI alert.”

He confirmed that “information from the public” had since led them to the conclusion that he wasn’t in fact abducted.

The spokesman said the boy’s family “are relieved in so far as he wasn’t abducted. However, they are still very concerned to establish his current whereabouts”.

He said “we haven’t established details” on the car in question. “Our investigations would satisfy us that he was not abducted, so it’s fair to say he got into this car.”

He added that the boy was residing in the Wexford area, but that his family home is situated in Sligo.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Wexford Garda Station 053-9165200.

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