Nov 15 2011
Detectives are questioning three men on suspicion of kidnap after a missing 10-year-old boy, who vanished during a trip to the local shops, was allegedly discovered with his hands "bound" inside an empty flat.
West Midlands Police launched an investigation after the youngster, from Oldbury, was reported missing by a worried family member at 9.15am on Sunday when he failed to return home.
Police officers and members of the public frantically searched the area for more than two hours before a neighbour spotted the boy inside a property at around 11.30am. He was uninjured and returned to his family shortly after the ordeal.
Local resident Jean Masih told reporters she saw the youngster at the window of the property before raising the alarm.
"His arms looked like they were bound and he had a white sheet wrapped around his body. I asked who was in the house and he said 'no-one, the man has gone and left me,'" she said.
On Monday night the ground-floor flat was being searched by forensic officers while detectives were granted additional time to quiz the suspects. Officers are expected to interview the boy in the coming days to establish how he came to be at the flat.
A police spokesman said: "Three men, a 49-year-old, a 30-year-old and a 48-year-old, all from the local area, have been arrested on suspicion of kidnap and are currently being questioned by detectives. We are working closely with the family and local community."
The spokesman said magistrates sitting in Birmingham on Monday night granted officers a custody time limit extension, allowing detectives to question the men for a further period.
The spokesman added: "The address where the boy was found is owned by a housing association and police would like to make it clear the property is not a bail hostel, contrary to rumours.
"At this early stage, with three people in custody, no further details will be given."