Sylacauga Police Chief says 5-year-old boy was located in Mississippi with his father

UPDATE Tuesday, Apr. 24 10:35 AM – Around 11 p.m. Monday night, Lee County 911 was informed of a non-custodial abduction. Deputies went to the north end of the county to set up a checkpoint in the Natchez Trace Parkway. 

27-year-old Stephen Bradley Quintanilla, Malachi’s father, was the first person to approach the checkpoint in a Nissan Maxima. He was arrested and taken to the Lee County Jail on a warrant for his arrest from the Coosa County Sheriff’s Office from December 2017. 

UPDATE Tuesday, Apr. 24 9:30 AM – Sylacauga Police Chief Kelley Johnson tells CBS 42 they found Malachi with his father in Lee County, Mississippi. The father is currently in custody in Lee County. He was already wanted for interference with child custody on a previous incident out of Coosa County in Dec. 2017. He will be extradited to Coosa County to face charges related to the December 2017 incident. 

The Sylacauga PD case has been turned over to the DA to determine what charges he will face regarding this incident.

Malachi was taken into custody of Child Protective Services in Lee County last night. His mother will be able to pick him up there. 

Johnson had no further information on how Malachi was taken or by whom. Based on information they gathered at the scene Monday afternoon, they believe he got into a grey car with a white female, but are still working to confirm those details, as well as interview both the father and the child.

When more information is released, CBS 42 will update this story and send a push alert to our free CBS 42 News app where we first broke the story of Malachi’s abduction, and the end of the search early Tuesday. Click here to download. 

BREAKING UPDATE TUESDAY, Apr. 24 12:30 AM – Sylacauga Police say 5-year-old Malachi Quintanilla has been located in Lee County, Mississippi, and is safe. 

SPD thanked the U.S. Marshals Service and the FBI for their assistance in bringing the search to a close. They, and Malachi’s family, thanked everyone for information, thoughts and prayers during the incident. 

SYLACAUGA, Ala. (WIAT) — Sylacauga Police tell CBS 42 they are actively searching for a 5-year-old boy, Malachi Quintanilla, who they believe was abducted by a white female after he got off the bus Monday afternoon at his residence in Autumn Trace Apartments.

Malachi is a white male with brown hair and eyes. He is 4’03” and weighs 50 pounds. Malachi was wearing blue jeans, a white/Navy striped polo style shirt, and black shoes.

This abduction is not believed to be a random act, Sylacauga Police say. Information obtained from Malachi’s mom, who has custody of him, is that the woman may be related to the biological father and is believed to be heading toward New Orleans, Louisiana where the father lives.

The suspect description from Sylacauga PD is a white female driving a grey car that may be damaged. CBS 42 is in contact with the Sylacauga PD and will update this post as we learn more. Police tell us at this time, they do not have enough information for an Amber Alert to be issued. 

CBS 42 spoke to Malachi’s mom, who says it is not like her son to just jump into a stranger’s car.

“My heart is breaking, my world stopped.”

That’s how Brittany Crowe described the call she received–that her son had been abducted. Crowe says it happened outside their home at Autumn Trace apartment when the school bus dropped Malachi off around 3:45 p.m. She tells us kids in the neighborhood told her what they saw:

“One little boy just said that he had called his name, ‘Malachi, where are you going?’ and Malachi just continued to walk in and get in car, so obviously it’s somebody he’s familiar with, someone he has to know to feel comfortable enough to just walk up in the car and leave,” Crowe explained.

Alabama State Troopers issued an emergency missing child alert for Malachi at 10 p.m. Monday night. There was no new information in that release accompanying the issuance of the emergency missing child alert. 

If you see Malachi, please call 911. If you have any information on his whereabouts or his abductor, contact your local law enforcement or call the Sylacauga Police Department Central Dispatch at 256-761-1556 or after hours, contact investigator Ben Layton 256-401-2456.


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