UPDATE: Police seeking suspects after abducted Toronto teen found safe, police say

Police believe Shammah Jolayemi may have been abducted in the northwest part of the city

A 14-year-old boy abducted from a Toronto street as payback for his stepbrother’s alleged criminal activity has been safely reunited with his family, the city’s police chief said Friday as he appealed for the public’s help in the case.

Mark Saunders said no arrests have yet been made in the boy’s disappearance, which lasted for more than 36 hours and triggered an Amber Alert.

He provided few details of how the teen was ultimately located, but said officers found him in the city of Brampton, Ont., well northwest of his home.

Saunders said the boy, who looked “dishevelled” when he was found, was taken to hospital for a checkup before being reunited with his family. He said the boy was safe despite the fact that his alleged abductors are still at large.

“He probably will be the most watched young man in the city of Toronto right now,” the chief said at a news conference. “So you’d have to be more than a fool to try to apprehend him or cause any harm to his family.”

Saunders offered no particulars on suspects in the case, including descriptions or the number of people police are seeking. But he reiterated the allegation that the abduction was carried out as retribution for a massive “cocaine heist” allegedly executed by the teen’s stepbrother.

Investigators have said the man allegedly stole nearly 100 kilograms of cocaine in the summer of 2019, valuing the heist at close to $4 million.

Saunders said the teen at the centre of the abduction was an innocent party with no connection to any criminal activity.

The boy went missing at around 8:30 Wednesday morning, police said, noting witnesses reported hearing him cry for help as he was bundled into a Jeep Wrangler.

Saunders said the burned-out vehicle was found later that night near the town of Caledon, Ont., northwest of the city.

Police launched an investigation based on reports of the teen’s plea for help, but the incident was not connected to an alleged abduction until his parents reported him missing shortly after 5:30 p.m.

The boy’s high school failed to notify his family of his day-long absence sooner because his teachers missed an attendance reporting deadline, the Toronto District School Board said.

Spokesman Ryan Bird said four staff members at the boy’s northwest Toronto high school have been put on “home assignment” because their attendance data wasn’t submitted before 11 a.m. as required.

“We’re looking to confirm details right now, but what is clear is that attendance was not entered as it should have been,” Bird said.

The Amber Alert was issued at around midnight on Thursday, triggering a widespread search involving multiple police forces.

Police had previously said that the alleged abductors had been in communication with the force, but Saunders said Friday that was not the case.

He also said the stepbrother, who he said has left the Toronto-area and may even have fled the province, has provided “limited co-operation.”

Saunders said public help will be needed to identify suspects and urged anyone to come forward with any information they may have.

“This investigation’s not done yet,” he said. “I want these people that are involved. And I think there’s a great opportunity to reach the goal line with this particular investigation.”

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Amber Alert

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Part of the committee’s business plan is to give the “school,” officially known as the Wells-Barkerville Culture and Recreation Centre, a new name. (District of Wells)
Wells school renovation gets funding boost from mining company

Barkerville Gold Mines has put half a million dollars into the project to renovate the closed school

The Quesnel and District Seniors’ Centre on Carson Avenue is one of 17 general voting locations in Cariboo North that will be open Saturday, Oct. 24 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Free transit available in Quesnel on Election Day

A few reminders about where to vote and what to bring with you when you cast your ballot

A car was sent off Highway 97 and down 50 feet after a collision south of Quesnel Tuesday, Oct. 22 around 8 a.m. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Car sent down 50-foot ledge in crash south of Quesnel

At least one person was sent to hospital in the two-vehicle collision

This map shows the location of Barkerville Gold MIne Ltd.’s QR Mill and Bonanza Ledge Mine and proposed Cariboo Gold Project mine site in Wells, as well as the trucking route to take ore from the Cariboo Gold Project to the QR Mill. (Photo courtesy of BGM)
Barkerville Gold Mines and Lhtako Dené First Nation commit to working together

A project agreement sets the framework for strengthening relationship, providing opportunities

Instead of event flooring and storage at the West Fraser Centre as originally recommended by the North Cariboo Joint Advisory Committee, City of Quesnel staff is focusing on a project to build a bike park and revitalize Quesnel and District Arts and Recreation Centre trails in a grant application to the federal Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program. The bike park project — which will come to council with more detailed information at the Oct. 27 meeting — better fits the grant program’s criteria, according to staff. (Quesnel Cariboo Observer File Photo)
City of Quesnel turns its focus to trail development, bike park for federal grant application

The City is hoping for Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program funding

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

The Anonymous YVR is an Instagram page that reviews restaurants and other establishments around B.C. based on how well they adhere to COVID-19 rules. (Instagram)
Anonymous Instagram page reviews COVID-19 safety measures at B.C. businesses

There are a number of public health orders various types of establishments must follow to slow virus’s spread

Most Read