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Amber Alert canceled for 17-year-old boy after reported kidnapping found to be fake, police say

Police say Jair Junior Gasga-Espinoza was found safe. The Amber Alert for him has been canceled.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem police said a missing 17-year-old boy has been found safe Monday morning. 

The Amber Alert for Jair Junior Gasga-Espinoza was canceled around an hour after it was issued. 

Detectives with the Winston-Salem Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division have determined Jair Junior Gasga-Espinoza’s kidnapping did not happen as originally reported.

After further investigation, police determined reports of Jair being kidnapped were false.

Investigators said police originally received a call after 1 a.m. Monday saying a 17-year-old boy had been kidnapped on North Martin Luther King Jr Drive.

Jair was reported missing Sunday night around 8 p.m. The Amber Alert for him went out early the next morning. His last known location was at an apartment on North Martin Luther King Jr Drive in Winston-Salem.

Police were notified Jair had sent pictures and text messages to family members saying he had been kidnapped and they needed to give the kidnappers money or else he would be killed.

Investigators did not release any details about how or where Jair was found, only saying he was safe.

The teen has not been charged with a crime.

Credit: Winston-Salem Police
Jair Junior Gasga-Espinoza
Credit: WFMY
Jair Junior Gasga-Espinoza

🚨AMBER ALERT🚨 | CHILD ABDUCTION, PLEASE SHARE: Winston-Salem police need your help finding 17-year-old Jair Junior...

Posted by WFMY News 2 on Monday, May 2, 2022

When is an Amber Alert issued? 

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety lists certain guidelines that must be met before an AMBER Alert is issued:

  • 17 years old or younger
  • Believed to have been abducted
  • Not taken by a parent (unless the child is in danger or not allowed to be with the child)
  • Not believed to be a runaway or voluntarily missing
  • Abduction has been reported to and investigated by a law enforcement agency

The U.S. Department of Justice reports the following guidelines must be met to issue an Amber Alert. 

  • There is reasonable belief by law enforcement an abduction has occurred.
  • The abduction is of a child age 17 or younger. 
  • The law enforcement agency believes the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death. 
  • There is enough descriptive information about the victim and abduction for law enforcement to issue an AMBER Alert to assist in the recovery of the child. 
  • The child’s name and other critical data elements, including the Child Abduction flag, have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database.  

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