Young Boy Missing For Over Four Years Is Found Behind A Fake Wall In Georgia

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Young Boy Missing For Over Four Years Is Found Behind A Fake Wall In Georgia
by Sophie Jane Evans
KAPPIT
Source: dailymail.co.uk
  •   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
This is the emotional moment a 13-year-old boy who was missing for four years was reunited with his mother after being found imprisoned behind a false wall in the linen closet of his father's home.

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.

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Reunited: This 13-year-old  boy is pictured being reunited with his Florida-based mother after he was found imprisoned behind a false wall in the linen closet of his father's Georgia home four years after going missing

Rescue: The teenager (pictured) reportedly downloaded a cellphone app to text his mother to tell her he was being held captive and beaten at the house in Duke Court, Clayton County. He was rescued Saturday morning


Arrests: Five people in the property (pictured) including the boy's father and stepmother, were arrested and charged with false imprisonment, obstruction and cruelty to a child

Text: The child reportedly texted his mother from captivity, allowing the rescue to take place

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.

Investigation: CID officers are pictured arriving at the house on Saturday morning. An investigation is ongoing

Shocked: The teenager 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, Police Sargent Joanne Southerland (pictured) said


Proud: Police Chief Greg Porter (pictured) said: 'The police department did an excellent job coming out here and responding to the 911 emergency call. We have five individuals who have been charged with various charges'

One of the boy's relatives weeps after being reunited with him

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. 

An investigation is ongoing. This story is developing.

Scene: Police have now requested a search warrant for the property in Duke Court (pictured). A spokesman said they still have a lot of unanswered questions, including how the boy was imprisoned for so long

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