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Child, 1, missing after aunt fails to surrender him to foster care: NYPD

Posted at 8:00 AM, Jun 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-22 08:47:27-04

OZONE PARK, Queens — Police are seeking the public’s help finding a missing 1-year-old boy who was supposed to be turned over to foster care and has not been seen in nearly a week, the NYPD said Thursday.

Zayden Montero, 1, is missing. He has not been seen since June 16, according to police. (NYPD)

Zayden Montero was last seen Friday around 10 a.m. at  his residence on Albert Road, near Tahoe Street in Ozone Park, in the temporary care of his aunt, Darlene Melo, police said.

By court order, Melo was to give the boy to New York Foundling Foster Care, and was scheduled to surrender the child Wednesday at 5 p.m., according to police. Montero was officially reported missing that day.

The boy was in restrictive placement with his aunt because she tested positive for drugs, police say.

The missing boy is described as standing 2 feet 4 inches tall, weighing 22 pounds, with a thin build and light complexion.

Darlene Melo was scheduled to surrender her 1-year-old nephew to the New York Foundling Foster Care on June 21. Both are now missing. (NYPD)

Melo drives a red Chevrolet Impala with a Florida license plate, police said.

Police provided images of Montero and Melo.

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).