4-year-old boy found safe less than 100 yards from home

4-year-old boy found safe less than 100 yards from home
Police hold a 4-year-old boy found safe near his south Charlotte apartment (Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A 4-year-old boy reported missing from his south Charlotte home early Friday morning has been found safe.

Justin Villeda Idiarte was reported missing around 12:50 a.m. from his apartment, located in the 6600 block of Montcrest Drive.

“When you’ve got a 4 year old little boy that’s missing you better believe that everyone’s gonna drop what they’re doing,” said Rob Tufano for Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department.

Police say they Idiarte found at an apartment less than 100 yards from his home after knocking on neighbors doors.

“A lot of the activity last night was Spanish speaking officers going door to door banging on every single door," said Tufano.

CMPD has 75 certified Spanish speaking officers on the force to help citizens in need who don't speak English.

The apartment police found Justin in was the home of 20-year-old Arnold Chacon. He said Justin came over regularly, so even though it was late at night when Justin knocked on Chacon’s door, he let him in.

After a night of searching, police found Justin in the apartment with Chacon who released Justin to police in good health. Chacon says he did not know that police were searching for Justin throughout the night.

Once police returned Justin to his mother, they reported that they had “wonderful news” and thanked everyone who helped in the search.

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say Idiarte’s mom and other household members were asleep in the apartment when the mom heard the boy get up to use the restroom. The mom dozed off and woke up a short time later to find Idiarte missing. Household members started searching for the boy before contacting police.

Idiarte does not speak English but he does recognize his name. “We’re continuing to ramp up our efforts to find this young man," CMPD said in an early Friday morning press conference. Bloodhounds and helicopter assistance were used in the search for Idiarte. Officers also searched a body of water near the Emerald Bay Apartments.

“The weather is quite cold, we’re concerned about that,” CMPD said. Police later expanded the search to a 2-mile radius around the apartments as they knocked on doors and made phone calls, asking if anyone had seen the missing boy.

CMPD held a press conference in Spanish around 8 a.m. in hopes of communicating with as many community members as possible.

Idiarte was found around 9 a.m. and is being reunited with his mother.

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