NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The 3-year-old Gallatin boy missing for nearly two weeks, sparking a nationwide search and AMBER Alert, has been reunited with his family in California.
Video provided by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department shows Noah Clare clutching a stuffed animal while running into his mother’s arms as his family shouts “Noah!” Noah’s mother, Amanda Ennis, crouched down to catch Noah in a long-awaited embrace.
The family then sat with Noah on the floor as they read from a Paw Patrol coloring book. Noah showed off his stuffed animal to his mom as she continually kissed his face.
“It’s been torture. It’s been a nightmare,” Ennis told News 2 earlier this week. “It’s something that I would never wish my worst enemy to go through.”
Noah Clare and 16-year-old Amber Clare were found safe and sound Thursday, just outside of San Clemente, California. Noah’s father and Amber’s uncle, Jacob “Jake” Clare, was taken into custody.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the Clares were found in Dana Point near Doheny State Beach Campground in California.
It was concerned mother Julia Bonin who recognized the trio and called the police just before 9 a.m. PST. Bonin said she turned around following her instinct before calling dispatch. “I was actually apologetic when I called dispatch because I wasn’t, I had a feeling that it was, but there was nothing abusive, the kid looked happy and just skipping along.”
Noah’s grandmother credited God and prayers for his safe recovery. She said Noah’s hair has been cut since he was reported missing, a change that broke his mother’s heart, but the family is now focused on his homecoming.
Investigators believe Noah’s father, Jacob, left Kentucky with him and his missing cousin Amber either late Friday, November 5, or early Saturday, November 6, to drop off the 3-year-old, but they never arrived in Gallatin.
On Nov. 16, TBI upgraded the alert for 3-year-old Noah Clare to an AMBER Alert.
Later that day, the Subaru Legacy that was reportedly being driven by Jacob was found in California. Some of the items found inside the Subaru include packaged meals, instant milk, blankets and clothing.
The Orange County Sheriff said Jacob Clare didn’t resist deputies. He is facing aggravated kidnapping and custodial interference charges out of Sumner County and being questioned by investigators in California where he could face additional charges.
Jacob Clare will likely be arraigned Friday. The sheriff said if he waives extradition he could be brought to Sumner County within a matter of days. However, if he challenges extradition, it could take a few weeks.