*A 13-year-old boy who went missing four years ago is back with his mother today. The kid was found hidden in an insulation area above the garage, behind a “false wall” in the Atlanta home of his father and stepmother on Friday, according to police.
Thanks to a smartphone the boy was able to contact his sister online, and she relayed the message to their mother, according to what Clayton County police Capt. Angelo Daniel told NBC News. It was then that the biological mother contacted police and tipped them off to where the boy might be, Daniel said.
But a welfare check by investigators at a Jonesboro home where the child was living came up blank – after the five people inside the home denied having any connection with the boy, police said. It was a second call that came into the station that made them go back inside and search again, this time more thoroughly.
The boy was able to call his mom during the second search, and she led the police right to him. Charges of obstruction, false imprisonment and cruelty to children were filed against Gregory Jean and Samantha Davis; and three juveniles living in the household, according to the Clayton County Police Department, who said additional charges are pending.
The two adults are the teen’s father and stepmother, Daniel said.
“We opened the compartment where he was,” Clayton County Police Sgt. Joanna Southerland said. “I saw him and asked him to come forward, and he was horrified. He was frozen with fear,” according to a report by TIME.com
According to reports by local media, the boy’s father had refused to return him to his mother following a visit in 2010. The mother, who lives out of state, was reunited with her son in Georgia on Saturday.