FBI Searches for Disabled Boy Hassani Campbell
Aug. 12, 2009
The FBI has joined the search for a 5-year-old California boy, whose cerebral palsy makes it difficult for him to walk and requires him to wear leg braces. He has been missing since Monday.
Oakland, Calif., police, now with the help of the FBI, are searching for Hassani Campbell, an African-American boy who was last seen Aug. 10 with his aunt's fiancé, according to ABC News' San Francisco affiliate KGO-TV.
"We are confirming the FBI is involved in the search for the missing 5-year-old boy," FBI spokeswoman Patti Hansen said.
Campbell, who has brown hair and brown eyes, was wearing a gray sweatshirt and gray pants when he was last seen with 38-year-old Louis Ross, a man police describe as his "caretaker."
The leg braces Campbell has to wear are decorated with a Spiderman design, according to KGO.
Campbell was reportedly seen Monday at around 4:15 p.m. sitting in Ross' BMW outside a shoe store, Shuz of Rockridge, where his aunt and foster parent, Jennifer Campbell, 33, is employed. Jennifer Campbell also cares for the 1-year-old sister of the missing boy.
Courtesy Oakland Police Department
Hassani Campbell, 5, has been missing since... View Full Caption
Hassani Campbell, 5, has been missing since Monday afternoon when he was last seen in his foster fatherâ??s car outside. Campbell has cerebral palsy and wears braces on his legs to help him move. CloseRoss told authorities at the time that he left Campbell alone in the car when he went to unlock the shoe store so that the child would be able to go inside more easily. He said the boy was gone when he returned, according to the Associated Press.
Authorities do not believe that Campbell would be able to walk far on his own because of his disability.
With the help of the FBI and a search warrant, authorities have been combing the Fremont, Calif., area for clues and have used search dogs to bolster the investigation.
"We've devoted a significant amount of resources to finding this young child because it's very important to us that we locate him as soon as possible," Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said at a news conference late Tuesday.
Boy's Aunt Is 'Devoted Caregiver'
Asked whether there were any leads suggested Campbell has been hurt, Jordan said that authorities, so far, have no "specific facts" that lead them to believe the boy is harmed, but would not discount it as a "possibility," according to KGO.
Jordan did not immediately return messages left by ABCNews.com today seeking an update on the progress of the investigation.
John Riker, the man who owns the shoe store where the young boy's foster parent works, described Jennifer Campbell as a "devoted caregiver," according to KGO.
An employee who answered the phone at the shoe store today declined to speak to ABCNews.com.
Pamela Clark, the grandmother of the missing boy, told the San Francisco Chronicle that she's anxious anxious fort her grandson's safe return.
"I would like my grandson back," Clark told the paper. "I just hope this works out.
Clark said that she did not think the family is involved in Campbell's disappearance "at all," according to the paper.
Hassani's godmother, Regina Douglas, told the paper that she did not think Ross or Campbell were behind the boy's disappearance.
"If I knew what happened to Hassani, we wouldn't be having this conversation," Douglas told the paper.
Douglas described Hassani as a "very gentle, mild and loving boy."
If you have any information on where Hassani could be, please call the Okland Police or Crime Stoppers: (510) 777-8572