13 year old reunited with mother after being imprisoned by father
Florida boy, 13, is reunited with his mother after being found imprisoned behind a false wall in his father’s Georgia home after going missing FOUR YEARS ago Boy, 13, from Florida, reported missing to child welfare authorities in 2010 He had gone to father’s house in Georgia and he ‘refused to give him back’ He downloaded cellphone app and text mother saying he was being beaten Police arrived at scene and found teen hidden behind wall in a linen closet Five people – victim’s father, stepmother and three juveniles, were arrested They are charged with false imprisonment, obstruction and cruelty to child On Saturday morning, boy was reunited with mother in emotional scenes.
The unnamed teenager reportedly downloaded a cellphone app to text his Florida-based mother to tell her he was being held captive and beaten at the house in Clayton County, Georgia.
Police arrived at the scene and found the boy hidden behind a false panel in a linen closet in the property’s garage. He repeatedly thanked officers for rescuing him, according to reports.
In heart-wrenching scenes on Saturday morning, the victim was pictured clinging on to his weeping mother, who had traveled to Georgia, as another female relative sobbed uncontrollably nearby.
Now, five people in the house in Duke Court – the boy’s father, stepmother and three juveniles – have been arrested and charged with false imprisonment, obstruction and cruelty to a child.
The boy was reported missing to child welfare authorities in 2010 after he went to visit his father and he refused to return him to his mother, according to WSB-TV.
However, his mother never contacted the police, potentially because she is an immigrant and was unfamiliar with the system, it is said. But after receiving her son’s text, she immediately called 911.
Following her call, officers arrived at the property at 2am on Saturday. They reportedly questioned the house’s uncooperative occupants for several minutes before locating the victim.
It is unknown what condition the teenager was discovered in, or whether he was taken to hospital.
Sargent Joanne Southerland, of Clayton County Police Department, told the news station: ‘We came here to the home and were able to get inside and talk to the people inside.
‘After several minutes of denying that the child was here and that there was ever any assault or anything like that, we were able to find him in the linen closet.’
Officer Daniel Day added: ‘I just couldn’t believe it. We found him, we saw him. To say it was a great feeling is an understatement. He just couldn’t thank us enough, he was overjoyed we had found him.’
Police have now requested a search warrant for the property. A spokesman said they still have a lot of unanswered questions, including how the boy was imprisoned for so long without intervention.
The boy, whose legal custody is believed to lie with his mother, is expected to remain under the protection of the Division of Family and Children Services for the next couple of days.