Jaylen Griffin's family hasn't seen or heard from him since Aug. 4, 2020

By Harriet Sokmensuer
April 21, 2021 11:33 AM
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Jaylen Griffin

The morning of Aug. 4, 2020, seemed like just another day for Jaylen Griffin and his family.

Shortly before 11 a.m., the 12-year-old boy from Buffalo, N.Y., had just come home from walking his beloved new puppy, his mother Joann Ponzo tells PEOPLE. Then he said he was going to go back out.

"It wasn't unusual," Ponzo says. "We live near a few stores and he would carry people's bags, and they'd give him change."

But on that day, Jaylen didn't come home. His family reported him missing to Buffalo police and had him listed on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's website.

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Months later, authorities believe Jaylen is still in the Buffalo area. But his family fears he's in danger.

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"Someone may be holding him," family spokesperson, pastor Tim Newkirk, says. "His parents believe he's alive."

Jaylen is described as standing 5 feet 3 inches and weighing 145 lbs. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information is urged to contact Buffalo police at 716-847-2255 or to call 911.