A 13-year-old boy who was reported missing about four years was reunited with his mother Saturday after being found behind a false wall in an Atlanta-area home, police and CNN affiliate WXIA reported.
Clayton County police arrested the boy’s father, Gregory Jean, 37, and stepmother, Samantha Joy Davis, 42, and charged them with false imprisonment, cruelty to children and obstruction, WXIA reported. Three other people also were charged in connection with the incident, WXIA said.
The boy was reunited Saturday morning with his mother, who lives out of state, police Sgt. Kevin Hughes said.
Neighbors told WXIA they were suprised by the arrests.
“They were really nice people, very open, they said come over anytime you want,” Julie Pizarro, who lives across the street, told WXIA. “The young man didn’t seem under any distress. I guess you never know what’s behind closed doors.”
Police said they went to the home in Jonesboro twice to look for the boy starting Friday night after someone — police didn’t say who — asked them to check the home.
They didn’t find the boy during the first visit, and several people there told officers that they didn’t have any information about him, police said in a press release.
But for reasons police didn’t immediately explain, officers eventually returned.
While police were searching the house a second time, the boy contacted his mother by phone and she told police to look behind a false wall, WXIA reported, citing police.
Neighbor Akono Ekundayo told WXIA he and his wife saw the boy all the time.
“Gosh, it was right under our nose. We could have done something,” Ekundayo said. “But he was never in distress, it didn’t seem like.”
Authorities did not say which parent has legal custody of the child and why police were not contacted earlier.