Juvenile Judge Rob Philyaw said an alert police officer helped detect that something was not right involving a man who was arrested for public drunkenness and the teen boy who was with him.
It was found that the 14-year-old had been kidnapped in Indiana on May 6. He was the subject of an endangered child alert there.
The judge said Officer Jason Clemons became suspicious after arresting Larry Taylor.
Judge Philyaw said, “An astute and observant police officer asked the right questions and acted prudently when the stories of an adult male and juvenile male using an alias did not match up and something seemed to him to be amiss.”
The boy's mother soon arrived in Chattanooga for a joyous reunion with her son.
Judge Philyaw also credited Juvenile Court intake special Tammy Roberson for her role in discovering the boy's situation.
He said Taylor will be returned to Indiana to face charges of child abduction and abuse.
This is the full statement from Judge Philyaw:
On Monday of this week an astute and observant police officer asked the right questions and acted prudently when the stories of an adult male and juvenile male using an alias did not match up and something seemed to him to be amiss. Because of his initial actions and the following actions of several others, an Indiana endangered, kidnapped child missing since May 6 is reunited with his family and is on his way back to his home state this morning.
Gratitude must be shown to Chattanooga Police Officer Jason Clemons and Juvenile Court Intake Specialist Tammy Roberson. Using their experience and training, both sensed something was amiss and took extra steps to investigate. As a result, a young teenager is safe today.
I also want to thank Assistant District Attorney General Amanda Morrison and Assistant Public Defender Christian Coder publicly for their extraordinary work in this child's case as well as the local office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Child Advocacy Center for their quick response and work in this child's case.
The adult is in the Hamilton County Jail and will be facing charges in Indiana related to the child's abduction and abuse.
The mother of the child thanked everyone involved in court this morning and tearfully declared that Chattanooga will always be a special place and hold a special place in her heart for finding and securing her son. It is great to share a success story of this magnitude with such a positive outcome.