Community searches for missing 13-year-old

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The Maxwell family, friends, neighbors and school community are working to find Jalen, who has been missing since Friday.
PHOTO: Philadelphia Police

Update: Jalen was found Monday at noon on the 2100 block of Somerset Street in Kensington in “good condition” police said, and he has been reunited with his mother. 

When Priscilla Maxwell returned to her home from work Friday and couldn’t find her son, she immediately called for help.

It wasn’t like 13-year-old Jalen, who has mild cerebral palsy and mild autism, to go out, let alone with his toothbrush, backpack and a flashlight.

“He does not leave home,” Maxwell said. “My son doesn’t ride public transportation by himself.”

Friends, neighbors and people connected to his school, St. Martin of Tours in Oxford Circle, have been searching since Friday, riding up and down the streets of Northeast Philadelphia and looking as far away as Bucks County and Germantown.

A lead came in Friday night, after a Port Richmond woman contacted Maxwell to say she had seen a person she believed to be Jalen near the corner of Aramingo Avenue and Ann Street, not far from the Maxwell family’s former house.

Jalen Maxwell, 13, left his Wissinoming house on Friday.PHOTO: Provided

“He’s been out here for two days now and the weather, although it has not been snowing, it has been very nasty, cold, damp, wet,” Maxwell said.

Police described Jalen as 5 feet 4 inches tall with brown eyes and black hair. His mom characterized his build as tall for his age and thin, weighing 110 pounds.

He was last seen wearing a green Children’s Place jacket with fur around the hood, red and black Adidas sneakers and a blue and black backpack at his family’s home on the 1700 block of Anchor Street, authorities said.

Maxwell said he may have been upset because, before she went to work, he got into trouble for using his virtual learning laptop for non-school purposes.

“If you call him by his name directly, he is very approachable,” she said. “Just explain to him, he’s not in trouble. He did nothing wrong that cannot be fixed. We are not mad at him. We just want him home safe and sound.”

Jalen likes art and animals and is a very pleasant kid, greeting everyone with a smile and hug, she added.

“He has the type of personality where he does not see harm as we see harm,” Maxwell said. “He speaks to everyone.”

Anyone with information about Jalen’s whereabouts is asked to contact Northeast Detectives at 215-686-3153 or call 911.

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