Police search for missing Oakland toddler, AMBER Alert issued

An AMBER Alert has been issued for 21-month-old Daphne Viola Webb, abducted from Oakland.
July 10, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
There is a desperate search for a missing 21-month-old girl named Daphne Viola Webb. An AMBER Alert has been posted and the Oakland Police Department and FBI are on the case.

Authorities have focused their search in three areas in Oakland: 79th Avenue, along the water near Doolittle Drive, and at the father's house on Greenridge Drive.

Late Wednesday night police canvassed the area near Greenridge Drive, where the girl lives with her father. Oakland police also released the father's picture because they want to know when the last time was he was seen with his daughter.

There's something about this child abduction story that police don't seem to believe. Wednesday night the FBI roped off the apartment where John Anthony Webb and his 21-month-old daughter, Daphne, live with his mother.

Webb told police he walked into a store on International Boulevard around 11 a.m. and when he came out his baby was missing from his black Ford Expedition. His mother, who is suffering from dementia, was unable to help.

"And after a while he broke down and he did start to cry," said Joe Noble, a witness.

Police issued an AMBER Alert and said they were looking for a woman who was seen walking with a baby that fit Daphne's description. However, later on Wednesday investigators began questioning if the father actually took the baby to the store or if anyone had seen them together on Wednesday?

"Anyone who may know them, be familiar with them, provide a timeline, a date of when they last saw them together," said Oakland Police spokesperson Officer Johnna Watson.

We went back to Webb's neighborhood on 75th Avenue, where he grew up.

"He has never come across to me as somebody who would abduct a child or harm a child," said Jenny Whooton, the father's neighbor.

We asked the father's neighbor, Olga Lopez, when the last time was she saw John Anthony with the baby. She told us, "I would say seven months ago."

Everyone we spoke to said they haven't seen Webb with his daughter in several weeks. Meanwhile, at least a dozen police have been searching an area along the Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline in Oakland. They also had dogs sniffing along a trail there and the area has been taped off as a crime scene. Police are interviewing Webb, but say at this time he is not a suspect.

Daphne is described as black, with short, curly black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing orange two-piece pajamas with pink hearts, and pink socks.

Anyone with information on the girl's whereabouts is asked to call the Oakland Police Department Missing Persons Unit: (510) 238-3352 or 911.


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