Closings: Schools, churches, day-cares and businesses

Police investigate how a couple was able to conceal missing 6-year-old for so long

LACLEDE COUNTY, Mo. - A missing 6-year-old Bourbon, Missouri boy was found alive in the crawl space of an attic. It was a long way from the boy’s home.

The boy’s father and stepmother couldn’t be happier. Braedence Jones had been missing since August 3; it’s been a long five months.

“It was the first thing we did was give him a big hug and tell him we love him,” said Ryan Jones, Braedence’s father.

“This is one of the happiest days we’ve ever had,” said stepmother Bre Dominguez.

In August, the couple went to pick up Braedence from his mother’s house in Camdenton. After the divorce, Ryan was given custody. Braedence’s mother, Aubrey Ferguson, and her boyfriend were nowhere to be found and stayed hidden for months.

Aubrey Ferguson and Woodrow Ziegler

“They were moving around the area, as well as few different counties surrounding Camden County; relatives were assisting,” said Lt. Arlyne Page, Camden County Sheriff’s Department.

Missouri state troopers and federal marshals joined the search. On Tuesday, they received a tip and found the three in a home in Laclede County near Highway N. Ferguson and Braedence were hidden in a crawl space in the attic.

“The boyfriend had already nailed the crawl space shut and covered it with either a carpet or some place of cloth and had moved furniture and other items in front of it to block it,” Lt. Page said.

Ferguson and her boyfriend were arrested and jailed.

Braedence has not attended school this year, police. His father said he was filthy when police found him.

“He mentioned that he hasn’t had a bath. He had dirt caked on him,” Dominguez said.

Braedence finally opened his Christmas presents last night. His family said they’re extremely grateful to law enforcement.

“We’re definitely blessed for them, were just so thankful without them no telling where he could have been,” Dominguez said.

Grateful Braedence is finally safe at home.

“I’m just happy Braedence is back that they were able to find him,” Ryan said.

Braedence will return to school next week. He’ll also be going to the doctor for a check-up as a precaution.

Aside from charges against the mother and her boyfriend, other people who helped them hide could also face prosecution.