Update: As of Wednesday, just after 3 pm, police say the children have been located and are safe.
An Amber Alert to find five missing children has been cancelled — even though the youngsters have not been located.
The alert was issued in Toronto just before 5 pm Tuesday following the alleged abduction of the children in the Niagara Region.
But Niagara Regional Police said in a message on social media shortly after 11 pm that the Amber Alert had expired, but the children “remain outstanding and the investigation continues.”
AMBER Alert cancelled. Children have not been located, investigation continuing. To provide information, please contact Ontario Provincial Police or Niagara Regional Police at 911.
— AMBER Alert Ontario (@AMBERAlertONT) October 2, 2019
Police said earlier that the investigation was initiated through the Child Abuse Protocol for the Niagara Region, following a child protection investigation by Family and Children Services Niagara. They also say that the investigation identified concerns for the welfare and safety of the children.
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The NRPS investigation said between September 19 and 25, the children were taken from the family home by their father — and their whereabouts were unknown.
According to police, the children were subject to a temporary custody order and their father was in contravention of the order by failing to return them.
While criteria for issuing an Amber Alert may vary from province to province, basic requirements include:
- The child is under the age of 18;
- There is a belief that the child has been abducted;
- There is a belief that the child is in imminent danger;
- There is information to be released that may help locate the child and/or the abductor (e.g. description of the child, the suspect or the vehicle driven by the abductor)