By Nicole Hegewald
Jamal Armstrong is a 3-year-old with autism who was staying with relatives in West Palm Beach, Florida. He was found early October 11, 2009 walking up and down 15th street. When Tawanna Thompson noticed him wandering shirtless and barefoot she pulled over and called the police.
“The officers took photos and showed them to residents to see if any recognized him, and when we found him, he was just wearing black shorts,” said Detective Jennifer Favors of the West Palm Beach Special Victims Unit.
Police were having a difficult time gaining any information from the boy because he has a speech delay. Jamal’s father came forward several hours later, after seeing the boy on the news. He claimed he was under the impression that the boy was with his mother.
There is no evidence that the boy was abused but the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) is keeping Jamal in custody. They held an emergency trial for the family at 8:30 today. Jamal has a brother and sister who are still in the custody of their father.
“The main goal is that he is safe and that he is being cared for…” said Favors.