Police: 5-year-old boy found dead wasn’t abducted

Author: Associated Press
MGN Online

BERNE, N.Y. (AP) – The death of a 5-year-old boy is being treated as a homicide after investigators determined a caretaker lied when she told them he had been abducted from an Albany-area home by two masked men, New York authorities said Friday.

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said the body of Kenneth White was found by a sheriff’s dog during an overnight search in the rural hamlet of Clarksville, 10 miles southwest of Albany.

Apple said the 19-year-old daughter of Kenneth’s legal guardians told police two men wearing black ski masks entered a house in the neighboring town of Berne, pinned her to the floor and took the child at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday. She told police the men drove off in a pickup truck, touching off an Amber Alert.

Apple told WGY-AM on Friday morning that investigators determined the teen’s story was false. He said detectives were interviewing “a person of interest” who knew the boy, but he gave no other details. More information was expected to be released Friday afternoon.

Kenneth’s mother lives elsewhere in New York and his father lives in Massachusetts, Apple said. Neither parent is the person being questioned by detectives, he said.

Apple said the boy had a twin sister and a 4-year-old sister.

News of the boy’s death shocked residents in the rural hill towns west of Albany, described by Apple as a close-knit area.

“Everybody’s devastated,” said Lauren Tracey, a mother of two who lives nearby but doesn’t know the family. “It was a little never-wracking. It’s basically in my backyard.”

Kenneth lived in a red-and-white striped mobile home on a rural road in Berne. The home, with Christmas decorations in the snow out front, sits along a two-lane rural road with a few homes nearby. Police vehicles were parked outside Friday morning, blocking the road.

“It’s horrific, it’s heart-wrenching,” Apple told the Albany radio station. “It’s certainly not the ending we were praying for.”

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