Amber Alert canceled; police question mother, boyfriend


MARYSVILLE, Wash. - Police in Marysville canceled an Amber Alert issued for a 6-year-old autistic boy after he was found safe with the help of social media.

Marysville Police Commander Jeff Goldman told KIRO 7 that the boy and his mother, Shannan Guest, and her boyfriend, Gary Howard Cooper Jr., were spotted with the boy in Brier in south Snohomish County around 11 p.m. after receiving tips from the public.

Mountlake Terrace police took custody of Guest and her boyfriendwhile the boy was handed off to Marysville police, Goldman said.

Goldman said they will contact the Department of Social and Health Services to take care of the boy.

Meanwhile, Guest will be questioned, according to Goldman. 

The boy's mother had been in an apparent battle with the state for the custody of her son over the years, who at times had been living in foster homes.

In a Facebook post on Jan. 20, 2012, Guest spoke about financial problems and frustrations with the state's stringent requirements she had to meet to bring her autistic son home.

Authorities said the boy was last seen earlier on Wednesday at an apartment in Marysville where Guest lives.

Guest was allowed to have her son live with her, but she had to let Child Protective Services in periodically to see him. They said that on Wednesday morning, Guest wouldn't let them in and then disappeared as caseworkers were getting the paperwork ready to take her son away.

An Amber Alert was issued around 9 p.m.

Goldman said social media was  helpful in locating the boy.

"Social media itself has been very helpful in the police business, as well as other business, and we had some monitoring, and our Facebook tips were coming in, as well as telephone calls, and through a collective effort (the boy was found)," said Goldman.