JOHNSTON, R.I. (AP) — A 2-year-old Rhode Island boy was found wandering around a housing project miles from his home hours after his mother and another woman were found slain at their house Sunday and two men were under arrest, police said.
A patrolman in Providence spotted Isaiah Perez walking around the Chad Brown housing project by himself around 8:15 p.m., said Johnston Deputy Police Chief Daniel Parrillo. The toddler was evaluated at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and had no injuries, he said.
The search for the boy began after the two bodies were discovered about 5:20 a.m. at a home in Johnston, a town of 30,000 residents less than 10 miles from Providence. Two men were arrested in the double homicide and Isaiah’s abduction, while police continued their search for the child.
Johnston Police Chief Richard S. Tamburini said one of the victims was the child’s mother.
Parrillo said investigators believe the victims were killed between 4:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. and the boy was taken from the home. The names of the two dead were not immediately released.
Malcolm Crowell, 22, was arrested in Fall River, Mass., Sunday afternoon and Daniel Rodriguez, 27 or 28, was arrested that evening in Providence, Parrillo said. Both suspects are from Providence, but Parrillo would not say why police suspect the two or how they are related to each other or to the victims.
He said one or both of the suspects could be charged in connection with the crimes on Monday.
Investigators were working to determine the relationships among the boy, his abductor and the two homicide victims. Parrillo said it was unclear whether the boy’s abductor was living in the home, was a guest or was uninvited.
“What he was doing there, we have no idea,” Parrillo said earlier in the day.
When the boy went missing, a nationwide Amber Alert was issued that identified the child and also named Crowell as a suspect.
Massachusetts State Police spokesman Dave Procopio initially said Crowell was captured in Fall River. But Procopio later backtracked and would only say he was told the man in custody wasn’t involved in the child’s disappearance. Parrillo said Sunday evening that he couldn’t explain the confusion among Massachusetts State Police surrounding Crowell’s status as a suspect.