Updated:SUWANEE, Ga. —
The state has issued an Amber Alert for two young metro Atlanta brothers.
Seven-year-old Henry and 9-year-old Ben Cleary are believed to be with their father, but police said they may be in danger.
Roswell police said the boys' mother lives in Suwanee and their father, Daniel Cleary, was supposed to return them to their mother on Wednesday afternoon, but they never made it back. The boys spent Christmas break with their father at his Roswell home.
Channel 2’s Tony Thomas spoke to the children’s mother at her Suwanee home, where she had set up a makeshift command post and was helping police and the FBI search for the boys.
“I last heard from them on the 22nd of December. Since then, his phone has been shut off. I got suspicious when I didn’t hear from them by the end of the day Christmas,” Theresa Nash told Thomas.
She called her ex unpredictable and said she can’t guarantee that he won’t do anything to the children.
“I can’t predict his behavior with logic. It always defies me when I try, so I don’t have certainty that he wouldn’t,” she said. “He loves them very much but he is not of sound mind.”
“We don't believe they are in imminent danger necessarily, but we do think as time goes along, and we've had some time go by as he's had the kids, that mindset could change,” said Lt. James McGee of the Roswell Police Department.
Cleary, 46, is believed to be in a silver Jeep Grand Cherokee, temporary tag No. 10742627. Police said his car was tracked to the Nashville area earlier this week.
“He could be heading to Florida, California and Nevada. He has family in all areas,” Nash said.
She believes her ex had a getaway planned for some time.
“He did. The car was purchased a while ago. There are other things that he has done,” she said.
That includes a handgun purchase.
Police also said while looking into Cleary’s background, they found what they will only describe as disturbing information.
McGhee said he’s mostly concerned about “the deliberate acts that he's doing, trying really not to bring the kids back and some other things that we found out during the background checks.”
According to court records obtained by Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik, Nash filed a petition for contempt against her ex-husband in November of last year. The filing says she smelled alcohol on his breath when picking up the children, so she denied him a visit. The petition, however, was denied.
“This term does not allow the parent who suspects the other has been drinking to prevent parenting time, as the petitioner did on more than one occasion. Accordingly, the petition for contempt is hereby denied,” the document said.
Nash believes her sons were wearing blue ski vests and Nike sneakers when they disappeared. For now, the boys’ Christmas gifts remain wrapped under the family tree as their mother tries not to think the worst.
“It feels like it's a bit of a dream. I’m on auto pilot right now,” Nash said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Roswell police at 770-640-4100.