Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Rilya Alert Hasani Campbell
5 year old
Missing Oakland California
Has Cerebral Palsy
OAKLAND -- -- The mysterious disappearance of a young boy with cerebral palsy Monday afternoon spurred Oakland police to a desperate search in the hopes of finding his whereabouts, according to authorities.
More than a dozen officers fanned out in the area around College Avenue and Harwood in Oakland's Rockridge neighborhood searching for 5-year-old Hasani Campbell. The Alameda County Sheriff's rescue team joined the search with dogs.
Police said they received a call for help at about 4 p.m. from the boy's father. He told officers he drove his son to Shuz of Rockridge, a shoe store, where the boy's mother works so he could leave the child in her care.
Police said the father left the boy in a BMW in the back lot of the store while he walked around to the front, and went through the store the back door. He told police he then realized his son was gone.
"He frantically searched the neighborhood asking people if they've seen his son and nobody can find him," said Sgt. Rich Vierra of the Oakland Police Department.
Police say Hasani couldn't have gone far on his own because he suffers from cerebral palsy and wears braces on both legs.
Investigators say they fear he was either kidnapped or is frightened and hiding somewhere.
Vierra said, "Our worst fear is that he's gone somewhere, he's lost, frightened, hurt himself. We want to find him before anything like that happens."
They described him as African-American, small for his age, 3 feet tall and weighing 40 pounds. He has short black hair and brown eyes and was wearing a gray sweatshirt and sweat pants.
Patrons at the nearby Barclay's Restaurant and Pub said they were asked by police not to leave the establishment for about 30 minutes when the canine search got under way.
Katie Decarlo said, "For a period of time, they didn't want anyone leaving any of the businesses because that would have thrown off the scent."
Police are asking people in the area to check their backyards and basements for any sign of Hasani. "They can walk up to him, talk to him, call 911. Hopefully reunite him with his family