Detroit police: 9-year-old runaway in custody after home invasion

9-year-old boy had been reported missing since Wednesday morning

DETROIT – A 9-year-old boy reported missing Wednesday night by his mother was actually in juvenile detention in connection to a home invasion in his northwest Detroit neighborhood.

The boy was taken into custody with a teenager Wednesday morning and placed in juvenile detention.

Officers tried to reach the mother on Wednesday but couldn't get ahold of her. Police made the connection between the two cases after the missing persons alert went out.

This isn't the first time the boy has been in trouble. Sources say he's been linked to a bike theft and pouring gasoline on cats and setting them on fire.

Neighbors say they are just relieved the boy is safe.

"He's bad but I can deal with him," said Damond Bell. "Anybody else couldn't deal with him. I was thinking the worst last night. I know what type of kid he is, misunderstood and everything. I just hope he good because I know what he do."

Sources say the boy, along with the teenager, could be connected to a second recent home invasion in the neighborhood. The people who live in the neighborhood are fed up.

"The lady's house across the street. The lady's house behind me. And the window was broken -- was only big enough for a little boy to get into. But I don't think he was acting alone," said Marc Walker.

The boy's mother, Stephanie Horton, said her son has been in a lot of trouble and she needs help controlling him.

"I don't know if it's a gang, I just know that it's a group of individuals that he has no business being with. They're older. They're never in school. They're never doing anything, but they're out here robbing people, breaking into people's homes. I just want him to be away from it," said Horton.

She said her son has been kicked out of school for fighting.

"I just need some help with him. I'm going to address that to the judge, I just need help with him," she said.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office declined to bring charges against the boy on Thursday because he's too young.

Horton missed the meeting with prosecutors because, she said, she had transportation issues. She was on her way downtown Thursday afternoon to pick up her son.

As for the boy's 16-year-old accomplice, he is being charged with breaking and entering.