CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- WINK News has new details tonight on the search for three-year old James Witty. You saw it first as breaking news Wednesday.
The boy was found just 30 minutes after our report first aired. But he had been missing for hours before that. Viewers are asking WINK News why it took Cape Coral police so long to get word out to the public.
Captain Lisa Barnes is defending the Cape Coral Police Department. She says they were simply following procedure, and a communication breakdown between the boy's parents made it difficult for them to find him right away.
According reports, the department found out James Witty was missing after 1:00pm, but didn't alert the media until after 5:30pm.
"Nothing went wrong with the police department, and I say that very emphatically," said Capt. Lisa Barnes.
Capt. Barnes says the department waited hours before alerting the media and general public, because it was following series of steps.
"What we were doing at that point is we were trying to locate a picture of the child. In order to get they flyer out, we needed a picture of him. Which took a little bit for us. At the same time we were also contacting Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement."
Witty's mother was rushed to Cape Coral Hospital for a medical emergency around 11:40 am, and it was a bit after 1:00pm the hospital alerted police, saying they needed to check on her children.
No one could find three year old James, and his father didn't know where he was. "It wasn't like we wern't doing anything for a couple hours. We absolutey were doing a lot," said Capt. Barnes.
It turns out, James was at a daycare.
Police found out Witty's mother dropped him off at the daycare earlier that morning, before her medical emergency, although she has not used that daycare for more than a year.
A daycare employee saw the child's photo on the news, and called police.