While more than two dozen searchers scoured a densely wooded area looking for a missing 2-year-old Tuesday, the boy’s father was home hiding in his attic, according to Kansas City police.
The 24-year-old man, who had lost sight of the boy while they walked along a trail near their home in the 7800 block of North Camden Avenue, had warrants for his arrest and allegedly hid to avoid police as they searched for the boy.
The first officers on the scene about 1:45 p.m. Tuesday spoke to a man who told them he was a family friend looking for the missing child. They had received a call from a relative of the boy.
For nearly an hour in temperatures approaching 90 degrees, Kansas City police and Platte County sheriff’s deputies, assisted by a K-9 unit and a helicopter, fanned out in the large wooded area near Lake Waukomis in an attempt to find the child.
Then a family friend told them about the father hiding in the attic. After about 20 more minutes, the father was taken into custody, police said.
Officers recognized him as the man they first spoke to when they arrived.
The child eventually was found unhurt about two hours after he was first reported missing. He was found about 200 yards into the woods behind a school in the 7600 block of North Green Hills Road.
Police said that Michael D. Jestice Jr. was cited in Kansas City Municipal Court for child endangerment and was released from custody after posting bond.