Police issue amber alert for boy, 9, who vanished from a playground

The missing boy
The missing boy

Limburg police have issued an amber alert for help in finding a nine-year-old boy who disappeared from a playground in Kerkrade on Wednesday evening.

The boy, Gino van der Straeten, was last seen in the playground between 7.30 and 8.30 pm. In particular police are hoping to trace and adult who was in the playground with three children at around 6.30 pm. The person is not a suspect but may know more about where the boy is now, police said.

In addition, the police have asked locals to come forward with camera footage which may show the child. German police are also involved in the hunt, given Kerkrade’s proximity to the border, and a helicopter and drones have been drafted in.

Gino was wearing a red jacket with black sleeves, jeans and a red Nike baseball cap. He had a black scooter with red grips with him at the playground, where he was playing football with a couple of other boys.

The boy usually lived with his mother in Maastricht but she is extremely ill and so he had been lodging with his older sister Kelly for the past week, the AD reported.

Kelly told local broadcaster 1Limburg the family think the child has been taken. A police spokesman told the radio station that they suspect the child may have been the victim of a crime but were keeping all options open.

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