Westchester boy found safe after Amber Alert

July 2, 2012 9:36:12 AM PDT
Police in Mount Vernon have lifted an Amber Alert for a 5-year-old boy believed to have been kidnapped by his mother's ex-boyfriend.

Police found 5-year-old Ranaldo Brown unharmed with Thomas Whaley in the Bronx late Monday morning.

He had been missing for more than 24 hours, and now, police are trying figure out what happened.

Whaley was suspected of abducting Brown early Monday, and an Amber Alert was issued just after midnight. But now, police aren't even sure if the boy was kidnapped and are investigating if the whole incident was a misunderstanding.

Police say Whaley has an extensive criminal history, including violence and weapons offenses, and has also had domestic violence issues with Brown's mother. That, police say, justified the issuing of the Amber Alert.

"He has had a violent history with the mother in the past, so it was extremely urgent that we find him as soon as possible," Mount Vernon Police Commissioner Carl Bell said. "Because we really didn't know what his intentions were at the time."

Police say Brown's grandfather allowed Whaley to take the boy Sunday morning to visit a friend, and that when Brown's mother called Whaley and asked him to return the boy, Whaley hung up the phone.

The boy remained mising until Whaley called the grandfather Monday morning and said both were at an apartment in the Bronx.

Whaley is being questioned by police.

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