Amber Alert cancelled, but 5 children still missing
Investigators allege the children were taken from their home in Jordan, Ont.
UPDATE: Niagara Regional Police announced Wednesday that the five children missing from Jordan, Ont., have been safely found. Read the latest story here.
An Amber Alert issued for five children in Ontario has been cancelled, but the children are still missing, and Niagara police are continuing to search for them and their father.
Niagara Regional Police have asked members of the public to remain vigilant and to call 911 if they see the man or the children. He is believed to have abducted them. Detectives said they were concerned for the children's safety when the alert was issued on Tuesday afternoon.
The man is described as 49 years old, standing about six feet tall, weighing 280 pounds, with blue eyes, brown hair and a beard.
He is believed to have been driving a red, four-door, 2002 Toyota Camry with the Ontario licence plate CJMB 976.
Police say he was last seen in this car on Oct. 1 at around 5 p.m. in the Niagara region. The children were not with him at that time.
Police also say that this information was a direct result of the Amber Alert that was issued.
In an email to CBC Hamilton, Const. Philip Gavin said the Amber Alert has an "expiration period," which means that the "active messaging by the Amber Alert system stops." The expiration period is five hours.
Previously seen in Jordan, Ont.
"The Amber Alert completed its goal in notifying the community and bringing attention to the matter," he said. "It is then the responsibility of the respective police service to continue to raise the alarm and put out messaging." The investigation is continuing.
In 2016, an Amber Alert was sent out for a nine-year-old girl and ended a day later, although Niagara Regional Police had yet to find her. She was found safe more than a week later.
Before the Niagara sighting, the man was last seen in Jordan, Ont., and police thought he might have been driving a gold or beige pickup truck.
Investigators allege the children were taken from their home in Jordan, a community between Hamilton and St. Catharines, sometime between Sept. 19 and 25.
The children were under a temporary custody order, which police say their father violated by failing to return them.
They were reported missing to police by a local agency within the past 24 hours, Const. Phil Gavin said during a news conference on Tuesday.
He said police are still gathering details and hope to release more in the future.
It's not clear when the children were supposed to be returned, or why there was a five-day gap between Sept. 25 and when the missing persons report was filed Tuesday.
Police say the family previously lived in the Toronto area and still has family and friends there, so it's possible the man may head that way.
"We're asking the public to be alert for these people, and if anyone has information, we're asking them to contact their local police as soon as they can," said Gavin.
"Our primary concern is locating [and] ensuring the safety and welfare of these children."
Gavin said the mother is "concerned for the welfare of the children. She doesn't know where her children are, and I think that would be very traumatizing to anybody, but she's speaking with our detectives, and with her support we hope to reunite the children with her and bring this all to a safe and peaceful resolution."
Anyone with information is urged to contact Niagara police or Ontario Provincial Police at 911.