AMBER Alert cancelled; Missing baby found alive

Missing 4-month-old Jaleel Howard
Missing 4-month-old Jaleel Howard
Suspect Lonnie Cecil Buchanan
Suspect Lonnie Cecil Buchanan


MONROE, NC (WBTV) - Police confirm a Monroe baby was found alive in Chesterfield County, South Carolina.

The Monroe Police Department say 4-month-old Jalleel Xamir Howard was taken by 41-year-old Lonnie Cecil Buchanan, Junior, police say.

Buchanan was taken into custody early Wednesday morning.

According to police, baby Jalleel was taken by Buchanan when the child was with his mother at a doctor's office parking lot at 1303 Franklin Street in Monroe.

Officers say an unidentified woman, who was with Buchanan, walked over to the baby's mother, purposely distracting her, while she was taking the baby out of the car.  That's when police say Buchanan snatched the baby from the car.

Witnesses tell WBTV the whole thing took less than a minute.

"It was quick.  She bit the girl, they were fighting.  She ripped the shirt off the guy, but he reached in and snatched the baby out of the seat," one witness stated. "The seat was still fastened."

Another witness told us she chased after Buchanan.

"I was like, I want to get that baby," said the witness. "Cause he had it by the bottom and the back half was reared back and his head was just bobbing back. As soon as I got down to the bushes, he jumped into the car. The car was already running."

Police issued an AMBER Alert Tuesday afternoon. They say Buchanan is not the baby's father but the John Snyder, the Union County District Attorney told WBTV he is. We've also heard the mother may have a restraining order against Buchanan.

Investigators think the two were in a dark blue 1997 Honda Civic with license plate of YNW-8418.  They were last seen traveling south on Highway 601 towards Chesterfield County, South Carolina.

Officers with the Monroe Police Department searched several locations in which Buchanan was known to reside.  They have also obtained second-degree kidnapping warrants for his arrest.

WBTV has been told that investigators are working with police across state lines to find the baby as fast as they can.

Buchanan is a black male with black hair and brown eyes, is 5 foot 8 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds. Buchanan was wearing blue jeans or khaki pants, and no shirt.

Buchanan rented a 2011 gray or silver Toyota Camry on July 26 with license plate ZTD-1237.  That vehicle has not yet been returned.

The baby is approximately 2 feet tall, weighs 15 pounds.  The child has with curly black hair and brown eyes.  Baby Jalleel was last seen only wearing a diaper.

Monroe Police, Union County Sheriff‘s Office, SBI and FBI are involved in the search for the child as well as in the apprehension of Buchanan.

WBTV has learned that one of the vehicles the suspect may have been using has been located near Pageland SC and a person was seen running from that vehicle. The location of the suspect or the baby is still unknown.

Anyone with information about the child or Buchanan, should call the Monroe Police Department or Detective Shannon Huntley at 704-282-4700.

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