Father of Ontario girl found safe after Amber Alert won't be charged, police say
5-year-old was signed out of school by her dad on Tuesday afternoon
No charges will be laid against the father of a five-year-old girl who was the subject of an Amber Alert on Tuesday, but was found safe in Markham, Ont., according to York Regional Police.
Soloman Jaffri, 25, has been released from custody, police said Wednesday.
The alert was issued after Jaffri signed his daughter out of her classroom at Armadale Public School in Markham, some 30 kilometres from downtown Toronto, at approximately 2 p.m. ET, after the mother called police and said she was concerned.
Police initially said Jaffri was not supposed to have access to the girl, but the school didn't appear to be aware of that. In an interview, however, Jaffri said no such order exists, and he frequently picks her up and participates in school events.
On Wednesday afternoon, York police Const. Andy Pattenden confirmed there are no court orders barring him from having custody of his daughter.
Jaffri said he and his wife went through an acrimonious separation about 10 days ago, but they remain married. He said he had told his wife in a text message that he intended to pick up their daughter a bit early from school to take her out for lunch with her grandfather, who was visiting from Windsor.
He added he had no idea what his wife may have told police, or why she was concerned for their daughter's safety.
While Pattenden said he could not confirm any specific details, he said investigators had good reason to believe the child could be in danger.
"I can tell you there was a definite concern yesterday for that child's safety," he explained.
"Often in cases like this, it is one side of the story that we have that we are working with."
Review of info led to Amber Alert
Jaffri and his daughter were eventually found inside a retail location around 6:30 p.m. after someone recognized them from photos included with the Amber Alert, which was eventually cancelled. Jaffri said he was not aware that the alert had been issued and was shocked when police arrived to arrest him.
He was released around 9 p.m. after several hours of questioning. His father took him back to the family home in Windsor overnight.
Pattenden told CBC Toronto that no one involved in the case will be charged.
He also said the Amber Alert was issued after a high-ranking officer within York police as well as officers with Ontario Provincial Police reviewed all the available information about the case. It is ultimately up to the OPP whether an alert is sent.
For several hours after the Amber Alert had ended, police received reports from members of the public who said the alert continued to appear on phone and television screens. Both Toronto and York police via their social media channels asked people to stop flooding the 911 emergency line with complaints about the ongoing alerts.
OPP Sgt. Carolle Dion acknowledged that an error was made when officers attempted to cancel the alert in the electronic system used to send them out. She said the mistake was fixed within half hour of OPP being notified.