A 13-year-old boy who went missing four years ago is back in his mother’s arms today. It was after some behind the scenes maneuvers by the boy that eventually led the police to the house where he lived, kept in a secret room behind the garage of a Georgia home, according to Fox News on Nov. 30.
This story started back in 2010 when the boy’s father came to Florida to visit him. He refused to bring the boy back to his mother and she hasn’t seen or heard from the boy since. The father was hiding the boy in his Georgia home. Police found the boy in a state of fright, hiding behind a fake wall in a linen closet.
Back in 2010, the boy’s mother reported that her son was missing to the welfare authorities, but not to the police. Fox suggests this may have happened because she is an immigrant and not familiar with the procedures.
In 2010, the boy was only nine, but the now 13-year-old managed to download an app that allowed him to text message his mother. She in turned called the police. According to the Atlantic Journal News today the boy found a cellphone that wasn’t turned on, but he was able to use the phone to download a Magic Jack app to get a text message to his mother.
Police went out to the home in the suburbs of Atlanta and the people at the house told police they knew nothing of a 13-year-old boy. They received another call from the boy’s mother who had received another text message from her son. This time they searched the home, finding the child cowering behind a fake wall.
Fox News live on Sunday morning reports that the boy lived in a hidden room behind the garage at the home. The father, who was identified as Gregory Jean, 37, was taken into custody as was the woman he was living with, Samantha Joy Davis, 42.
Three juveniles in the home were also arrested, but the extent they played in this crime has not been revealed by police. Both Jean and Davis face charges of false imprisonment, obstruction of justice and cruelty to children. Clayton County Police Sgt. Joanne Sutherland described the scene when finding the boy:
“We opened the compartment area where he was and I saw him and asked him to come forward. He was horrified. He was frozen with fear.”
Police said that they found the boy after receiving two calls reporting child abuse. The Friday night call said that there was a boy at the house being abused. The first appearance the police made, the residents denied knowing anything about the boy. Then Police received another call on Saturday about the boy and they went back to the house once again, with the people still denying knowing the boy.
Police got the mother to text the boy with the police at the house and the boy texted back his whereabouts inside the home leading the police to a linen closet with a fake wall. It was this phone contact with his mother that led the police to the boy’s location inside the house, according to the Atlanta Journal. The 13-year-old took an active role in his own rescue by figuring out how to get the cell phone to work for him with that app.
The boy thanked the police officers for saving him and he did this a few times once he was out of the house. The Georgia Child Welfare Department has sent workers to take custody of the boy. He was reunited with his mother in a teary reunion, but there is no information on why he is with the child welfare workers today. There is an on-going investigation in this case.