Missing boy found in attic allegedly nailed shut by mom's boyfriend

Missing boy found in attic allegedly nailed shut by mom's boyfriend

Braedence Jones was found Tuesday in the crawl space of his mother’s Missouri home five months after he was reported missing. (Photo: Camden County Sheriff’s Department)

Missouri.’ data-reactid=”32″>Authorities said Braedence Jones was found Tuesday in the crawl space with his mother, Aubrey Ferguson, at a home in rural LaClede County, in southwest Missouri.

Ferguson’s boyfriend, Woodrow Ziegler, had allegedly nailed the entrance of the crawl space shut, put carpet over it, and pushed furniture against it before officers from the US Marshall’s service and Laclede County arrived with a search warrant after receiving a tip.

The boy was reunited with his father, Ryan Jones, who reported Braedence missing on August 3 when his mother didn’t return the boy after a week-long visit.

“He seems to be physically OK,” Camden County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Arlyne Page said. “But since his abduction, the mother hasn’t allowed him to go to school and more than likely has not taken him to a doctor if he needed one. We are hoping to help his father find counseling for him.”

A probable cause statement said that when the father went to the home on August 12 to pick up Braedence, no one was there. The house next door where Ferguson’s parents live was also empty.

Jones said Ferguson told him in text messages the boy was safe but would not say where he was, according to the affidavit.

He said Ferguson turned off her phone between texts so she could not receive calls.

Aubrey Ferguson and her boyfriend, Woodrow Ziegler, were both arrested following the discovery. (Photos: Camden County Sheriff’s Department)

Since then, law enforcement officials received several tips both in the region and from out of state.

Surveillance footage from stores confirmed the boy was with his mother, and pings from her phone indicated they were moving around to elude capture, according to officials.

The US Marshal Service’s Violent Fugitive Task Force began assisting in the search several weeks ago and finally received reliable information on the boy on Tuesday, Lieutenant Page said.

Ferguson and her boyfriend were both arrested and charges are now being pursued.

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