A Missouri mother and her boyfriend are in jail after deputies in Camden County, Mo., say they found a 6-year-old boy who had been missing for more than 5 months, huddled inside an attic crawlspace that had been nailed shut.
Braedence Jones was returned to his father on Tuesday, according to a news release from Camden County Sheriff’s Office, which led the search for the missing boy.
His mother, Aubrey Ferguson, was inside the attic crawlspace, huddled with her son when police arrived at the house in the tiny village of Stoutland, about 50 miles northeast of Springfield, Mo., according to the release. Ferguson was wanted for child abduction in connection with Braedence’s disappearance, according to KTVI, as the boy was reported missing by his father during a visit to Camdentown, where she lived, on Aug. 3, 2018.
Ferguson was deemed a “flight risk,” and her bond was set at $200,000 at a court hearing Wednesday, according to court records. She is also being held on an unrelated warrant out of Crawford County.
The crawlspace had been both nailed shut and “concealed,” according to the Camden County release. Pieces of furniture had been stacked up against the opening, KMOV reported.
Police are seeking additional charges against Ferguson and her boyfriend, Woodrow Ziegler, 41, in both Camden and Laclede counties, the Lake Sun reported. Ziegler’s association with Ferguson, along with his criminal history and alleged drug use, is what gave Missouri Highway Patrol initial cause to put out an endangered person advisory in August, according to the newspaper.
Ziegler had been ordered by the Missouri court system to stay away from Braedence, KTVI reported.
“OUR LITTLE BOY IS HOME. GOD IS SOOOO GOOD!!!!,” Breanne Dominguez, identified as the girlfriend of Braedence’s father, wrote in a Facebook post. “We don’t know how to thank everyone enough. Our hearts are so full of joy.”
The boy’s father, Ryan Jones of Bourbon, Mo., has full custody of Braedence, according to KMOV.