AMBER ALERT CANCELLED: Sevier County Boy found safe

By: Sara Shookman & Mike McCarthy Email
By: Sara Shookman & Mike McCarthy Email
The Amber Alert for an 11-year-old Sevier County boy has been canceled, his mother tells Volunteer TV

Damian Duncan

UPDATE: 7/10/09 7:13 p.m.:

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Amber Alert for an 11-year-old Sevier County boy has been canceled.

The Amber Alert for an 11-year-old Sevier County boy has been canceled.

Family members initially told Volunteer TV Damian Duncan had been taken to the Sevier County jail for questioning, but we later learned that he was taken to Fort Sanders Sevier Medical Center instead.

"My heart jumped up out of my chest. Thank you Jesus. My baby is ok, is safe," Damian's mother, Sarah Banks, states.

Damian Duncan, 11, has been found days after he went missing.

The Sevier County Sheriff's Office says the boy ran away from his Dad and Stepmother's Seymour home, Wednesday.
Sarah Banks is his biological mother.

"The first part of this was a living hell. Where your kids gone, not knowing if he's alive, if he's been kidnapped, or is just run away. Not knowing is the hardest part," Sarah comments.

Authorities issued an Amber Alert, Thursday.

Sevier County Deputies and TBI and Damian's family have searched the areas around his dad's home for two days.

Family members passed out his picture to anyone they saw.

"I figured it couldn't hurt. I haven't seen him for a while. I want the best for him. I don't want to see him in a bad situation," Adam Duncan, Damian's uncle says.

The sheriff's office says a resident spotted Damian at a home under construction along Mississippi Avenue around 6:30 Friday afternoon.

A deputy responded and identified the boy as Damian. The sherrif's office says the boy had been hiding in an unfinished house about five miles from his home.

Deputies say Damian suffered scratches, bruises, and poison ivy.

Family members say their son ran away once previously.

"I heard that he was punished and he left home," his mother says.

Now, his family is thankful he's alive and safe.

"I'm verry relieved, I'm just so excited," Sarah says.

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UPDATE 7/10/09 6:05 p.m.:

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- An Amber Alert remains active for an 11-year-old Seymour boy, but police believe he probably ran away.

Damian Duncan's been missing since Wednesday, but police weren't called until Thursday because his father thought he was with his mother.

The search for the boy continued Friday night in Sevier County near Damian's Seymour home.

Sevier County Sheriff's Captain Jeff McCarter says, "Basically at this point, we don't believe he was abducted. We don't believe he's left the area. We just think he's afraid to come home."

Investigators know of at least one time Damian has run away before.

Capt. McCarter says, "Right now we've used what resources we have at this point. I don't know any other investigative ways to search for him."

Investigators have been canvassing the area near Damian Duncan's home and passing out this flyer with the hope that someone will recognize him.

"We've had several sightings now of Damian in the immediate area where he lives."

McCarter says Damian was last seen here near Smokies Crossing Apartments Thursday around 3 p.m.

Now, community volunteers from East Tennessee are pitching in to help.

Halls resident Jean Brewer says, "I just thought I'd help. I'm just driving everything up through the little side roads, looking if there's any children outside."

Brewer drove in from Halls to share her time to search for Damian.

"There's people up here that do care about him and will try to take care of him," she says.

Damian's mother, Sarah Banks, says, "Hopefully he's at somebody's house or he can get in touch with somebody. He can get in touch with me, and I can come get him."

Capt. McCarter "We'll continue until we find him."

Anyone with information should call 1-800-TBI-FIND (1-800-824-3463).

-----

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- An East Tennessee Amber Alert has been issued for an 11-year-old Sevier County boy last seen around 8 a.m. Wednesday, July 8.

Sevier County Sheriff's Department Captain Jeff McCarter says investigators are confident that the boy ran away. He's done so at least once before.

"Basically at this point, we don't believe he was abducted, we don't believe that he left the area," McCarter says. "Basically we think he ran away and is just afraid to come home."

"Terrified. I was terrified. Wondering where my little boy is. An 11-Year-old -out in Sevierville," his mother, Sarah Banks says.

Since learning that her son Damian Duncan was missing, she's left no rock unturned.

"Theonly thing I was told is that he was being punished and he ran away. That's all i know. Nobody's seen him since," Banks comments.

Damian lives with his father and stepmother in Seymour.

They last saw him Wednesday morning, while leaving for work. He was gone when they returned home around 4 p.m.

The Sevier County Sheriff's Department issued an Amber Alert this afternoon.

Sarah is looking near Seymour's First Baptist Church, where some reports placed Damian around noon, Thursday.

Davis says he saw a boy wandering near the ballfields around 1 p.m., Thursday.

"It just hit me Ihad seen a boy here today that matches that description. Just acted outta place, like he was lost. He was fiddling with his hat. And the he just walked off that way. Something struck me funny. He looked nervous," Davis recalls.

Now it's mom who's nervous, keeping her hopes up by retracing his steps.

"I have hope. I just hope that he's at somebody's house safe and not hiding out in the woods afraid to come home. Afraid to see what's going to happen to him when he gets there," Banks says.

Banks says she'll keep going until she makes sure Damian makes it home safe.

"I'm gonna search and search until I hear something from somebody," she states.

Here's a description:

Age: 11
Sex: Male
Race: White
Hair: Brown Eyes: Blue
Height: 4'0"
Weight: 75lbs

Damian was last seen wearing a green t-shirt with white stripes, red and white Nike tennis shoes and a purple ball cap with an LSU logo on the front.

Anyone with information should call 1-800-TBI-FIND.


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