LACLEDE COUNTY, Mo. -- ."We couldn't be happier to be able to hold him. We gave him a big hug. Noticed he had definitely gotten a lot taller," said Ryan Jones, recalling his reunion on Tuesday with his son Braedence.
Jones is overjoyed, and says he almost can’t believe his eyes, seeing his six-year-old son Braedence back home for the first time in five months.
"He hadn't really said a whole lot," Jones said. "But you could tell he kind of had an idea of what was going on."
Braedence lives with his father, and was reported missing when his mother failed to return him after a legal custody visitation. But Tuesday night, Braedence was found, inside a house where deputies say he was being hidden in a crawl space.
Laclede County Sheriff, David Milsap said the Sheriff's Department had been working with the US Marshals after reported sightings of Braedence and his mother. He says then on Tuesday, US Marshals were able to to track them down in a rural area of Laclede County.
"The U.S. Marshals developed the lead about where they were at yesterday," Sheriff Milsap said. "Then, our role became investigative as well as assisting in the recovery of the child."
"Right now, all we really know is that he was found in an attic," explained Jones about the details of his son's rescue that he's been told so far. "I guess his mom Aubrey was in the attic with him, and that it was apparently nailed shut."
Sheriff Milsap said, on Tuesday, deputies supported U.S. Marshals as they executed a search warrant on a the house where they were found. Braedence’s mother, Aubrey Ferguson, and her boyfriend were arrested. Braedence was taken into custody by child protective services, then returned to his father.
Ferguson and her boyfriend remain under arrest in Laclede County. Ferguson, facing child abduction charges with additional charges possible. Sheriff Milsap says he believes formal charges for her boyfriend will be filed soon.