Montreal police have issued a Quebec-wide Amber Alert for a missing boy who was last seen at about noon on Monday.
Investigators are seeking the public's help in finding 10-year-old Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou, whose parents said he was headed to a friend's house before he went missing.
The boy's parents live in the north-end borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville.
His father, Frederic Kouakou, told Radio-Canada that as far as he can remember, “it's the first time he went on his own to his friend's house.
“He had asked permission from his mother,” he said. “(Monday) was a pedagogical day. When he got to his friend's house the friend wasn't there, he was at daycare. There was a lack of co-ordination. That's all we know.”
Police say the boy, who is black, has black hair and black eyes and is French-speaking.
Before disappearing, he was wearing a black coat with a hood, grey pants and yellow shoes.
Anyone with information is being asked to call 911 or 514-393-1133.
Montreal police Sgt. Laurent Gingras said an Amber Alert normally isn't issued without certain factors being known.
“For example, we don't have a description of a person who would have kidnapped the boy, we don't have a description of the vehicle involved,” Gingras said.
“But we do have the fact that, since it's 24 hours, since he's only 10 years old and since we don't have any historical reports of him missing and the fact it's winter and pretty cold, that's why investigators from the Montreal police decided to issue an Amber Alert.”
Gingras said it is too early to talk about a kidnapping.
“We do not know at this point if a criminal hand is involved or not,” he said. “We cannot exclude that hypothesis - but we're not putting it forward either at this point.”