Two children in Greece, New York, are believed to be "in imminent danger of serious bodily harm and/or death" after two masked men broke into their home and took them Monday night after binding the children's foster mother and two other kids together with duct tape.
An AMBER alert identifies the abducted children as 5-year-old Dimitri Cash Jr., who was taken while wearing firetruck or dinosaur pajamas, and his 3-year-old sister Shekeria Cash, who was dressed in panda pajamas.
"We believe, based on the investigation, that this was a planned and targeted abduction," Greece Police Chief Andrew Forsythe said at a news conference Tuesday.
The incident began about 8:50 p.m. Monday with "a crashing sound," heard by the homeowner while she was downstairs. Her seven foster children were upstairs in the residence on English Road, said Forsythe.
"When she saw the suspects, she screamed, and when she screamed, two of her children came downstairs," he said.
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The two intruders, wearing ski masks, then grabbed all three of them and forcibly taped them together with duct tape, along with taping over the female homeowner's mouth to prevent her screams, he said.
"The two suspects then went upstairs and forcibly removed the two children, Dimitri and Shekeria," he said.
The AMBER alert identifies the two suspects as Black men standing 6-feet-1-inch tall and weighing 200 pounds, last seen in flannel shirts and Dickies work pants. One of the suspects has facial hair.
Police are seeking the children's father for questioning, said Forsythe.
Their father, Dimitri Cash, was arrested in January 2020 and accused of forcibly removing his children from school without consent or custodial rights, and also striking the school principal with his vehicle while leaving the school, reports WROC. Four misdemeanor charges resulting from that arrest are still awaiting resolution in the courts, the chief said.
"The father, Dimitri, is definitely someone we need to speak to," he said. "Obviously they're his children. I don't know the full circumstances, why they were particularly targeted — we don't know what he knows, and it's very important that we speak to him, he's the first person we should speak to."
No charges have been filed relating to the missing children.
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