Missing Missouri 6-year-old found in attic, mother arrested

A 6-year-old Missouri boy missing for five months has been reunited with his father after police found him alive and hidden in an attic.

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Braedence Jones was reported missing by his father, Ryan Jones, after Braedence’s mother failed to return him after a visitation Aug. 3, news outlets reported. Aubrey Ferguson, 30, was wanted on suspicion of felony child abduction.

Authorities, acting on information from the U.S. Marshals, found Braedence on Tuesday in a crawlspace of the attic of a Laclede County house, KTVI-TV reported. The crawlspace had been nailed shut, covered with carpet and blocked by furniture, deputies said. Ferguson was hiding with Braedence, Newsweek reported.

Ferguson and her boyfriend, 41-year-old Woodrow Ziegler, were arrested. Ziegler is a felon and had been court-ordered to stay away from Braedence.

The boy was returned to his father.

“He seems to be physically OK,” Camden County Sheriff’s Lt. Arlyne Page told The Associated Press of Braedence.

“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.”

Ryan Jones’ girlfriend, Breanne Dominguez, has made several Facebook posts since Tuesday expressing joy and gratitude for Braedence’s safe return. “OUR LITTLE BOY IS HOME. GOD IS SOOOO GOOD!!!!” she wrote.

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