Cannon Tatum McDoodle was found safe in Youngstown, Ohio Wednesday. The 6-week-old baby is in the custody of Child and Family Services, and the investigation into his disappearance is ongoing.
The child’s mother went into the Cleveland Police Station Tuesday to report that her baby had been taken. The woman said that she had gotten into a fight with her family friend Tiashia Dumas and that Dumas drove away in the mother’s car. Cannon Tatum McDoodle was inside the car at the time.
Dumas was driving a black Chevy Impala with temporary tag M38856 and at the time of the baby’s disappearance, the police believed that the suspect was drunk.
Cleveland police issued an Amber Alert while they searched for the baby. Police eventually found him in Youngstown, Ohio on Wednesday, which is about 75 miles outside of Cleveland.
Police are still investigating the circumstances involved in the baby’s disappearance. According to the department, there were conflicting stories that they need to look into.
The U.S. Marshal’s Office has recently increased its patrol for missing kids in Northeast Ohio. The department successfully found 22 to 23 missing child runaways earlier this week.
The investigation was called Operation Safe Space. According to Senior Inspector and Deputy U.S. Marshal, Bill Boldin, the goal of the investigation was “to remove those kids from those dangerous situations.”
The operation started on August 3 and will continue into September to make sure missing children are found safely. During this week’s investigation, children were found in Akron, Canton, Warren, Cuyahoga Falls, and Cleveland.
At least two adults were charged in connection with the missing children, and they are being investigated for interfering with a police investigation and for keeping the children from their legal guardians. No other information was given about these individuals.
The U.S. Marshals say that since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic the number of missing and runaway kids has increased. Since October 2020, police have recovered over 58 missing children in Northeast Ohio. To help the children, the Marshals created a task force that they hope will be a permanent fixture of the Marshal’s service.
The task force consisted of a large variety of police departments. Officers from Summit, Wayne and Portage counties along with the Akron police department and some out of state officers helped with the task force. The entire investigation consisted of over forty officers.
Police say that it was tips and surveillance that helped them find many of the missing children. For one child, it was his family who helped officers. The child has been returned safely to the family.
“The recovery of our high-risk youth is of the utmost importance and we take that responsibility seriously to find and locate these kids swiftly and safely. The USMS has excellent law enforcement partners, whose hard work and dedication are evident during operations like this,” said U.S. Marshal Pete Elliot.
Not all of these children had been kidnapped. Most of them were runaways and endangered children. Some had gotten involved with gang members and drug dealers and were forced to commit crimes. At least four or five of the children had been involved with human and sex trafficking.
U.S. Marshals say that investigations like these help vulnerable children from getting involved with trafficking and other dangerous groups. If anyone has any information about a missing teen or child they are urged to call the task force at (866) 492-6833.