Missing for four years, a 13-year-old Florida boy outsmarted his captors and was directly involved in his own rescue.
Yahoo News is reporting the young man, who’s mother lives in Orlando and has been searching for him for four years, used a cell phone snagged from one of his captors to alert his mother of his location.
The mother was able to contact the Clayton County Police who dispatched officers to the home of the boys biological father. The officers searched the grounds, calling out to the boy but were unable to find anything.
After the police left the scene the boy was able to send his mother additional texts including a pictures of the house’s garage. The mother then passed them on to police who returned to the home.
In an interview with WSB-TV, Clayton County Police Sargent Joanne Southerland recounted the encounter with the boys Jonesboro family.
‘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.”
Eventually, the boy’s stepmother led the police to an upstairs closet and a hidden panel that led to a small space enclosed in the homes framework. The boy, identified as Gregory Jean Jr. was secreted away inside. Police say the boy looked “absolutely afraid” and they had to take several minutes to calm him down.
Tim Barber of WFTV recently spoke with Gregory at his mothers home. He expressed his joy at being home.
— Tim Barber (@TBarberWFTV) December 2, 2014
The Inquisitr originally reported on the boys rescue. These new details though outline the boy’s direct involvement during the police search of the home.
After the rescue the boy thanked officers for helping him and even posed for a picture with his rescuers.
According to the authorities, the boy’s father and stepmother face charges of false imprisonment, cruelty to children and obstruction of justice. The woman’s three teenage children were also arrested. All parties denied any knowledge of the boy’s whereabouts.
Investigators have spoken with neighbors who claim to have seen nothing out of the ordinary. The family showed no signs of trouble and the boy was often seen playing outside. Neighbor Julie Pizarro noted the boy seemed quiet but never noticed any problems.
“And again there was nothing usual about the situation to me. You know, it just seemed like (it) was regular as apple pie.”
As the young man settles into his new life with his mother in Orlando police continue their investigation. Additional charges are possible for the boy’s father, stepmother and his step-siblings.
[Photo courtesy of WSB-TV)