LACLEDE COUNTY, Mo. — A 6-year-old boy who had been missing since August 2018 was found alive Tuesday afternoon, hidden – along with his fugitive mother – in the boarded-up attic of a southwest Missouri home.
Braedence Jones had been missing for 5 months. The missing boy's mother, Aubrey Ferguson, has been taken into police custody.
Officers executing a search warrant at a home in Laclede County found Braedence in an attic crawl space, Camden County Sheriff's Office officials said in a news release.
"Ferguson and her boyfriend were hiding the child in an attic crawl space that had been nailed shut and concealed," according to authorities. "Ferguson was with the child in the crawl space when discovered."
The investigators were acting on a tip from United States Marshals Service Midwest Violent Fugitive Task Force.
The task force was working with the Camden County Sheriff’s Department and other agencies.
Braedence was not returned from his mother to his father, Ryan Jones, during a visit to Camden County on August 3, 2018. The Missouri State Highway Patrol then issued an endangered person advisory in October, and Braedence's mother, who was wanted for felony child abduction, allegedly went on the run.
Sightings of the suspects were reported in the City of Stoutland and Laclede County.
Officers arrested Ferguson and her boyfriend, Woodrow Ziegler, another suspect in the case, on Tuesday.
Ziegler is a felon and was court-ordered to not be around Braedence. He is one of the reasons an endangered person advisory was issued by the Missouri Highway Patrol.
Ferguson and her son went missing in Camden County and were found in Laclede County. Investigators say she refused to bring their son back to his father. The two share custody but he lives with Ryan Jones. The Missouri Highway Patrol has now canceled their endangered person advisory.
Ferguson is being held on a warrant for child abduction out of Camden County as well as a Capius Warrant out of Crawford County. Additional charges are being sought out of Laclede and possibly Camden Counties.
On Tuesday evening, Jones' girlfriend Breanne Dominguez posted a series of Facebook posts showing Braedence reunited with his father.
"OUR LITTLE BOY IS HOME. GOD IS SOOOO GOOD!!!!💜 Thank you all for the prayers, shared, phone calls and etc. we don’t know how to thank everyone enough. Our hearts are so full of joy atm. Just thank you everyone..." writes Breanne Marie Dominguez in a Facebook post.