BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Police Department is asking for the public's assistance to help locate a 12-year-old boy.
Jaylen M. Griffin was last seen on August 4, 2020. He was reported missing after he didn't come back to his home on Warren Avenue in the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood.
"No one ever heard from him, he didn't come back later on that night or days after," said GYC Ministry Pastor Tim Newkirk, who is a spokesperson for Jaylen's family. "They (police) took it serious immediately upon him not coming home because he's not a kid to stay out late or go too far."
Newkirk said Jaylen had a new puppy and told his parents he was going out but didn't say where. Hours, days and months went by without any word from him.
Buffalo Police listed him as missing with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
In November 2020, just three months after he went missing, his family faced another tragedy. Jaylen's older brother 18-year-old Jawaan Griffin was shot and killed on Memorial Avenue in the City of Buffalo.
Newkirk said the family hoped the news of his brother's death would bring Jaylen home, thinking he might come to the funeral, but he didn't.
"News travels fast and it's not far fetched to get that information second wind or by second party and we were just hoping that he would show up and be right there with his mother," he said.
Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo said they believe Griffin is in the Buffalo area and said his disappearance is still an active investigation.
"At this point we have no information that leads us to believe he is in immediate danger," Rinaldo said. "I mean the fact of his age and the fact that he is not under his parental supervision is obviously dangerous to begin with, but we do not believe that he was abducted or taken against his will."
Pastor Newkirk added, "I do think he is still alive, I just think that someone has him and is not aware they are in serious danger by harboring him and keeping him away from his family. He should be in school, getting ready for the summer just like every other kid."
Jaylen is 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 145 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.
If you have any information about where he could be you're asked to call 911 or the Buffalo Police confidential tip line at (716) 847-2255.