Police are calling the recent Amber Alert a success after the 3-year-old boy reported missing from Sudbury was found safe just hours after the notice was sent out.

Sudbury police were contacted by the boy’s guardian, his grandmother, around midnight Tuesday, May 14 after he had not been returned to his home by his mother, 25. This was after the family tried to resolve the situation on their own.

The mother and son had been dropped off at Sudbury’s Rainbow Mall downtown by the grandmother, who has legal custody of the boy, at noon on Monday.

Since the 25-year-old doesn’t have access to a vehicle, officers began to search places that she is known to frequent, as well as the Greyhound and Northland bus stations.

Police confirmed with an employee at Northland at 3:05 am that the two boarded a bus headed to Toronto on Monday afternoon.  The bus left Sudbury at 1:45 pm Monday afternoon and arrived at Toronto’s Bay Street station at 6:50 pm on Monday night.

The Amber Alert was initiated at 5 am Tuesday, but there are reports that not everyone in the city received the alert. People were also reportedly calling 911 to complain about receiving it on their cellular device. Sudbury police say there were 15 complaints to 9-1-1 and the tip line in the first three-hours after the alert was issued.

“To put it bluntly, the discomfort and the inconvenience that an Amber Alert would have for an individual certainly does not trump the safety of a child - full stop.” said Inspector John Valtonen.

Police officials say this case was something they needed to take very seriously. They had reason to believe the boy was in danger.

A criminal investigation is underway, and they are not ruling out charges. 

“It’s a multi-jurisdictional investigation. As soon as you have an Amber Alert out, every police service, every officer whose on duty and off duty, are paying attention to what’s going on; in hopes of being able to pick up whether it’s actually identifying the individuals, a vehicle or whatever information is available in the Amber Alert.” said Valtonen.

The duo was found just after 7 am Tuesday at a condo on Bruyeres Mews, in Toronto’s Lake Shore West and Bathurst area, when the mother called Toronto police saying there had been a misunderstanding. Both are in good health.

Not much is known about why the mother decided to head to Toronto, but police say the Amber Alert was the right choice.

"I'm not going to comment on the background of the child with respect to the child and the family, but certainly a number of factors were taken into consideration by investigators which resulted in the determination that the child was in danger and we needed to issue the Amber Alert." said Valtonen.

In the end, police believe the process worked and they're happy the young boy will be returning home to his grandmother.

Greater Sudbury Police Service says the criteria for an Amber Alert may include:

  • Child under 18 years old
  • Child believed to be abducted
  • Information to help locate the child and/or abductor available, including descriptions
  • Reasonable amount of time from the moment of abduction

If you did not receive the Amber Alert notification, police suggest contacting your service provider and asking why.