A mother and son were reunited after Georgia police found the missing boy behind a fake wall in his father and stepmother’s Jonesboro home, AFP reports.
Gregory Jean, 37, and Samantha Davis, 42, have been charged with obstruction, false imprisonment and child cruelty. The couple appeared in a court near Atlanta on Sunday, but were denied bond and must remain in jail until their Dec. 9 court date.
Neighbors told local reporters that they often saw the boy doing yard work and thought he was homeschooled.
"It shocked all of us, honestly," one neighbor told reporters. "They were really nice people, they were open. They were like, 'Hey, come over any time you want.'"
"We could have done something," another neighbor said. "But he was never in distress, it didn't seem like."
According to local reports, police were called to the couple’s home in an Atlanta suburb to perform a welfare check last Friday evening at the request of the boy’s biological mother.
The young boy had reportedly found a cellphone and downloaded an app to contact his sister, who then reached out to their mother, police told NBC News.
After two separate searches, the police located the boy behind a false panel in the couple's garage.
The mother, an immigrant who lives out of state, had reported her son missing to child welfare authorities in 2010. It is unclear why the police were not contacted sooner and which parent has legal custody of the child.
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(Photo: USA Today)