(NORTH MIAMI, Fla.) — Police in Florida are searching for two small boys who were allegedly kidnapped by an acquaintance from their North Miami home Monday while a babysitter watched them and their mother ran an errand.
Cops say the brothers, Daren Bonilla, 5, and Rey Bonilla, 3, were driven off in what they believe is a silver Chevrolet SUV. But because they cannot confirm the make, model or license plate of the vehicle, no Amber Alert has been issued, hampering the search.
“A person known to [the mother] came here without her permission and told the person babysitting these kids, she had to take them somewhere,” police Det. Felix Guadarrama told reporters Monday night outside the family home. “And since then we have not been able to locate her [the acquaintance] or the children.
“She told the babysitter, ‘I need to take these children somewhere.’ Before the babysitter could stop her, they were in the car and were gone,” he said.
Police have identified the suspected kidnapper only as “Gloria,” and described her as an acquaintance who knew the children and their mother. She is believed to be 23 years old, 5-foot-7 and 125 pounds.
A law enforcement source with knowledge of the case, but unauthorized to speak to the media about an ongoing investigation, told ABC News that “investigators feel the children are safe.” But they have no knowledge of their whereabouts and have not been in contact with “Gloria,” the source said
He said cops now know Gloria’s last name, and that she had previously babysat the children. He would not say what evidence investigators have that makes them think the children are unharmed.
Police are not investigating and have not interviewed the boys’ estranged father.
The mother, however, was being questioned by North Miami police.
Five-year-old Daren was last seen wearing a blue SpongeBob SquarePants T-shirt and blue basketball shorts. His younger brother Rey, 3, was last seen wearing a blue-and-red shirt and red shorts.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Ralph Ellis and Chandrika Narayan, CNN
Lindsay Isaac, CNN
Thom Patterson, CNN
Lisa Respers France, CNN