The family members of a two-year-old, Chijindu Felix, are in distress over the disappearance of the child during a church service at the Immaculate Heart parish of the Catholic Church, Umuagwo, in the Ohaji Local Government Area of Imo State.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Chijindu attended the first mass with her elder sister, Chima, last Sunday, but suddenly went missing.
The father, Stanley Felix, said efforts to find him had been abortive, adding that the police had yet to have any clue on the disappearance of the nursery one pupil.
He said, “I attend another church, while their mother attends that church. But on that day, she had to go to another branch, where they were holding an anniversary. So, she was not around that day.
“Chijindu’s elder sister, Chima, took him to church. It was while they were together in the church that he went missing. The sister said she didn’t know when he went outside and started running around.
“She said she later saw him playing around the statue in the church. Unknown to her, somebody had picked him from the back of the statue because the statue has a low fence. The boy couldn’t have climbed the fence and jumped out; so we believe somebody picked him. This happened during the first mass of the church.”
He said the case was reported at the Umuagwo Police Station, adding that the family had spent a lot of money to search for the victim without any success.
Felix, an engineer, told PUNCH Metro that the family had been distressed as a result of the incident, urging anyone with information on his whereabouts to contact the police.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Enwerrem Andrew, confirmed the incident, adding that it was a case of child stealing and not kidnapping.
He said, “It is a case of child stealing. Since nobody has called for ransom, it is not kidnapping. The child was trailed and stolen. The family left the child alone and he got missing in the crowd. Investigations are ongoing.”