Missing boy recovered; APD investigating

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY -- Albany Police Department officials said Wednesday afternoon that they are still working to piece together the events surrounding the disappearance and abrupt recovery of a 9-year-old

Albany boy who vanished in sub-freezing temperatures Tuesday night.

Police also said they are discounting a witness' statement that Jyquez Miller was put out of a vehicle in front of his home Wednesday morning by a mysterious motorist.

Jyquez was admitted to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital on Wednesday for evaluation and any needed treatment. Police said they would interview him after any immediate health concerns are resolved.

Police also believe he was out in the elements all night Tuesday night, when temperatures dipped to a dangerous 16 degrees around dawn Wednesday.

Hundreds of searchers -- some volunteers and others law enforcement personnel -- gathered in the parking lot at First Monumental Faith Ministries on Gillionville Road Wednesday morning to comb the area where Jyquez had last been spotted.

APD spokesperson Phyllis Banks said that the department had received several tips Tuesday night that Jyquez had been seen walking near the Beattie Road area, prompting authorities to begin heavy canvassing of that area.

However, word circulated at the command center around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday that Jyquez had been found and was at his home on Station Crossing Drive.

A few minutes later, a woman who identified herself to media as Daphne Porter said she had made contact with the person who found Jyquez. She said that a white male in truck flagged her down, saying that he had found him and that he had been sleeping on a bench overnight.

Initially, Porter told reporters that it was a white man in a light-colored pickup, but said it was dark-colored vehicle before talking to police.

"I just thank Jesus they found him," she said. "They say when two or more are together he's in their midst and he was."

After speaking with Porter, police were searching for the mystery motorist and put out a bulletin for an older model, dark Jeep Grand Cherokee. About 5 p.m., however, officials said they were no longer looking for the vehicle and doubted the story, although they wouldn't say how Miller ended up at his home or whether any criminal activity was suspected.

Jyquez was taken by ambulance to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital for evaluation, although initial reports were that he was in good condition.

When asked if they believe the boy had been assaulted, Deputy Police Chief Nathaniel Clark, said the investigation is continuing. The FBI was involved in the case Wednesday, but jurisdiction was returned to APD Wednesday afternoon.

Tuesday night, police searched the homes of three registered sex offenders who lived within a one-mile area of Jyquez's home. The search revealed no clues, Banks said.

Police will likely question Miller today in hopes of closing the missing person's case.

"We'd like to thank all of the volunteers who joined in this effort to help find him," Banks said.