Overton 5-year-old reported missing found safe
SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - UPDATE: The family of Zechariah Sutton reports the boy has been found safe.
The family said they are told the boy was found in the area of Big Spring, TX. The family says they are told it will be about six hours before the boy is back in East Texas.
Larry Christian with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office said the boy and Medlock were found traveling west on I-20 in Mitchell County, close to Colorado City, TX.
An AMBER alert has been issued for an abducted 5-year old from Overton.
The child is Zechariah Sutton. The alleged suspect is Pamela Medlock. They were last spotted in a black 2007 Jeep Wrangler. The original Amber Alert bulletin noted the Jeep as being green in color, however the Smith County Sheriff’s Office has clarified and states that it is black.
According to the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, dispatch received a report at 3:00 a.m. of a missing child from 23405 FM 838 near Overton. Upon the arrival of deputies, they discovered that Zechariah was missing from this location. Deputies found out that the child went with a “family friend” at approximately 11 a.m. Sunday so that she could get him a toy for his birthday. Zechariah and Medlock have not been seen since that time.
Zechariah has black hair, brown eyes, is 3 foot 5 inches tall, and weighs approximately 60 pounds. He was last seen wearing a gray jumpsuit with black and white shoes. Medlock, was last seen wearing a plaid jacket and khaki pants.
At 10:04 a.m., the sheriff’s office released photos of Zechariah and Medlock in the Wal-Mart no Troup Highway in Tyler. They were seen walking into the front door at 2:41 p.m. on Sunday. A photo of her Jeep was also captured in the same parking lot.
In a press conference held Monday morning, an investigator said Medlock’s Jeep was seen before 5 p.m. on Sunday in Kaufman County.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Larry Christian said Medlock has a history of mental health issues and possibly involvement with drug usage.
“We have reason to believe the child could be in danger,” Christian said.
It was revealed Medlock has a Dallas address connected to the Jeep. The sheriff’s office has checked that address and have found no leads there.
Medlock does not have a permanent address but frequents the Overton and Kilgore areas. She also frequents the Valero convenience store in Overton. She drives the black Jeep Wrangler. The license plate number is RVZ5847.
Sgt. Jason Railsback with the Crimes against Person’s division of the Smith County Sheriff’s Office shared some details as to why it took until 3 a.m. before the report was made.
“The family had no reason to not let her go with him; they didn’t doubt that she would bring him back. It’s not something that was uncommon. As the day got later and later, they kept waiting for her. She does not have a cell phone, so they didn’t have a way to contact her. I think it was one of those things where they thought it couldn’t happen to them, so they were waiting for time to pass and eventually the grandson would return. That turned out to not be the fact. They stayed up until about three o’clock in the morning waiting on this to happen, and they finally decided to call law enforcement,” Railsback said.
Railsback says the family has not had any red flags about Medlock and said she regularly visits and helps with the family.
“She has taken him shopping; she comes over on a regular basis and helps with homework and visits with the kids there and all that, so she’s been a family friend for as long as the grandmother has advised as that they’ve been around. There have been no red flags to the family until this point,” Railsback said.
Zechariah’s grandmother stated she doesn’t believe Medlock would harm the boy. She said Medlock took the boy to a bounce place Saturday (the day before he went missing) and brought him right back. She’s praying for good news.
Arp ISD announced that Zechariah is a pre-K student at their elementary school. They released the following statement:
“We have alerted our entire school district community to be on the lookout and are asking for prayers for his safe and prompt recovery.”
If you have any information, please call the Smith County Sheriff’s Office at 903-566-6600.
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