5-year-old found safe after Park Ridge carjacking - FOX 35 News Orlando

5-year-old found unharmed in Skokie, suspect at large

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Drake Whitker and family. Drake Whitker and family.
Drake Whitker (Park Ridge police) Drake Whitker (Park Ridge police)
(FOX 32's Craig Wall) (FOX 32's Craig Wall)
(FOX 32's Craig Wall) (FOX 32's Craig Wall)
(FOX 32's Craig Wall) (FOX 32's Craig Wall)
PARK RIDGE, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Police are still looking for the man who abducted a 5-year-old Park Ridge boy from outside his home Thursday afternoon.

Drake Whitker was found safe inside his mother's 2012 Audi Q5 which was located in an alley near Laramie and Oakton Street in Skokie around 2:15 p.m., Park Ridge police chief Frank Kaminski said.

An "alert citizen" who had seen the Amber Alert spotted the car in an alley in Skokie and called police. Park Ridge police said Whitker was found safe inside the car on the 5200 block of Hoffman Street in Skokie, around 2:12 p.m. Thursday.

The boy and his mother were reunited at the Skokie Police Station.

"Immediately when we found out [he was safe] we put them in touch with each other via cell phone," Kaminski said during a brief press conference held at Park Ridge City Hall less than an hour after Drake was located. "They began talking to each other and from what I heard from the officers they started talking about what's for dinner tonight, which movies they were going to watch and the child appeared to be in good spirits."

Drake was sleeping in the back seat of the vehicle while his mother carried items into their home in the 1700 block of North Good Avenue around 12:18 p.m. when a man got into the driver's seat of the car, which was running, and drove away from the area, Kaminski said.

The boy's mother saw the man taking the car and began screaming, alerting a neighbor, he added.

During a press conference at Park Ridge City Hall Thursday afternoon, Kaminski said the suspect remains at large, but urged the man to turn himself in.

"We will find you," Kaminski said.

The suspect is described black male in his late teens or early 20s, about 5-feet, eight-inches tall, with a short afro hairstyle, wearing a blue Chicago Cubs jacket and jeans. He was not present when the Audi was found in Skokie.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Park Ridge Police Department at (847) 318-5252.

Police do not know if there is a relationship between the suspect and the boy's family or if he is a complete stranger, Kaminski said.

"We don't know a lot about that yet," he said. "The important thing is that mom and child are reunited. We'll spend some time talking with the mom about what happened before this situation occurred."

In addition to crediting the person who located the stolen Audi, Kaminski gave credit to the Amber Alert system which now sends out notifications instantly to the smart phones and email of those who have registered for the alert.

"It's huge, it's just huge," Kaminski said of the impact the alerts have. "The system is a great system. It's an affirmation of a system that works."

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