Although African Americans make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, we account for 33 percent of the missing in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s database. Cases involving African Americans also tend to receive less media coverage than missing Whites, with missing men of color getting even less attention.
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It’s the best resolution of a horrible scenario.
Houston Police say 11-month-old Achilles Lambert has been found safe in Queretaro, Mexico. Police believe he was abandoned there by his father Patrick Lambert, 38, who is a person of interest in the stabbing death of his wife, Anastacia Oaikhena-Lambert, 27, who was also Achilles’ mother.
Patrick Lambert was taken into custody by the FBI and Mexican police in a separate area of Mexico for questioning in his wife’s death at about 5:30 p.m. Friday, according to Houston Police. Achilles appears to be in good condition.
“Our agents were working around the clock to insure that we could do absolutely everything we could to bring him back safely,” Special Agent Shauna Dunlap of the FBI’s Houston office told NewsOne in an interview. “He is safe and alive and will be back shortly.”
Houston Homicide Division Sergeants J. Robles and C. Hassig said that Lambert will also be returned to the U.S. shortly.
Law enforcement officials declined to release details of how Lambert was tracked to Mexico or how his whereabouts were uncovered.
“We followed up each and every led in the investigation,” said Dunlap
Dunlap said the FBI became involved in the case after Houston Police issued an Amber Alert for Achilles early this week. Normally the FBI becomes involved if the case crosses into federal jurisdiction but the agency was able to become involved immediately in this instance.
“When a child of tender years go missing it is automatically assumed that foul play is suspected or involved,” said Dunlap. “Whenever we have an Ambert Alert in Houston…we don’t have to wait until federal jurisdiction is established; we can provide immediate assistance.”
Police suspected that Lambert had left the state with his son. Neighbors said he had talked earlier of leaving the state. It’s unclear for how long Oaikhena-Lambert had been dead when she was discovered by a maintenance man in her apartment complex. Neighbors had smelled the odor of decaying flesh for a few days and Oaikhena-Lambert’s body was in an advanced state of decomposition.
The maintenance man found blood on the floor. There had been no activity in the apartment for at least a week, said neighbors.
Neighbors also described how Oaikhena-Lambert was friendly and her husband was anything but.
“Strange look in his eyes, he never spoke,” Chantilly Jefferson told KHOU. “Speak to her, he was like, ‘Don’t speak to my wife.’”
Police responded to the apartment twice three months ago when Oaikhena-Lambert called 911 to say her husband had threatened her with a knife. No charges were filed in the incident.
Oaikhena-Lambert’s neighbors were thrilled at the news.
“I’m just glad they found the baby and that he was still alive,” neighbor Aberline Hopkins told USA Today. “Thank you Jesus.”
It’s still unclear who will take custody of Achilles but Dunlap said law enforcement authorities were especially thrilled that the baby was found unharmed.
“Clearly our personnel are satisfied and thankful that our efforts paid off,” said Dunlap. “It was the coordination and working together with agencies on both sides of the border that helped bring this child home safely.”