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Mother’s gut instincts tip off law enforcement to location of Noah and Amber Clare

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 12:53 PM EST
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(Gray News) - A good Samaritan helped authorities track down 3-year-old Noah Clare, a missing boy from Tennessee who was the subject of an Amber Alert, along with 16-year-old Amber Clare.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Thursday on Twitter that the two had been discovered “safe and sound” outside of the town of San Clemente. Noah’s father, Jacob Clare, was taken into custody, officials added.

Julia Bonin was driving her son to school when she saw three individuals at Doheny State Beach who were “strikingly similar” to the trio she had seen in pictures circulating on social media in connection to the Amber Alert.

Bonin said she thought for sure they would already have left the area and continued to her son’s school. She dropped him off, but something in her gut told her to go back to where she saw them.

“I just want to say to everybody ... that you just have to trust your instinct and your gut when you see these things,” Bonin said during a news conference. “Because I almost didn’t act upon it.”

She went back and took a photo of the little boy, man and teen she had seen. She called dispatch and was quickly connected to police in the area.

“I continued then after to head back to school to volunteer, and again, I turned back around because I thought, ‘I can’t leave. I have to make sure I follow them and wait until I know whether it is (them) or not,’” Bonin said.

Law enforcement followed up with Bonin about 10-15 minutes later and had Jacob Clare in custody.

“It was just a really good feeling ... I have children of my own, and I would want somebody to do the same,” Bonin said, adding that she couldn’t stop shaking and tearing up.

Noah and Amber’s family members flew to California for an emotional reunion with the kids.

According to Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes, Jacob Clare remains in their custody, pending extradition to a state where he faced charges.

The sheriff said the investigation is ongoing into whether he will face local charges.

Jacob Clare is accused of kidnapping Noah. According to Noah’s mother, Amber is Jacob’s niece and was last seen at her home around 9:30 p.m. Nov. 5.

Noah’s mother reported to police Nov. 7 that Jacob, her ex-boyfriend, failed to return their 3-year-old son at the end of a scheduled visit.

On Nov. 8, she applied for an emergency motion to suspend parenting time and a temporary restraining order, which the court granted, according to the TBI.

An Amber Alert was issued for Noah on Nov. 16 in Tennessee and Arizona. An Endangered Missing Advisory also was issued in California.

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