We're learning more about a man accused of taking a 10-year-old Fresno boy without permission. 36-year-old levon McDaniel is facing a felony child concealment charge.
CBS47 has chosen not to use the boy’s full name or show his picture due to the ongoing police investigation.
“We’re very thankful that we were able to locate Michael and at least physically he appears to be unharmed,” said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer outlined a very intense day of looking for a 10-year old boy who had been missing since Wednesday afternoon.
Thursday, cops canvassed the neighborhood near Dakota and Maroa. Search and rescue crews looked in canals.
A break came when investigators talked to a kid who said the missing boy was with his godfather, 36-year old Levon McDaniel.
“We do not know if Michael was with Levon McDaniel voluntarily or if he had been forced to be with him,” said Chief Dyer.
Leads took officers to some of the suspect’s relatives in Fresno and Selma.
“We did learn that McDaniel was driving a red van,” said Chief Dyer.
A red van which was parked in at shopping center at Fresno and Ashlan. A motorcycle officer spotted it along with a man and a boy who were getting out.
“He made a U-turn, made contact and was able to positively confirm it was in fact Michael,” said Chief Dyer.
Details of why they were together are not clear, but we know the two stayed together at a northeast Fresno apartment Wednesday night.
“We’re trying to determine if there was any activity that occurred there that would constitute criminal behavior,” said Chief Dyer.
“I’ve never seen this man (McDaniel) before,” said Christina, the boy’s mother.
She will not be reunited with her son for at least a few more days. He must stay with child protective services until some outside issues are taken care of.
“I’m just very grateful that he is alive and he is well,” said Christina.
McDaniel now faces a felony charge of child concealment. As well as charges attached to a warrant out of Madera to go along with his extensive criminal history which has landed him in prison.
“That criminal history does include operating a stolen vehicle, evading officers during a pursuit, burglary, possession of stolen property as well as felony cruelty to a child,” said Chief Dyer.
Police feel confident that the boy’s parents did not have anything to do with his disappearance.
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