A 13-year-old boy whose mother reported him missing four years back was found by police hidden behind a false wall in his father’s Georgia home, US media reported.
Authorities reportedly arrested five people including the father and stepmother, in Jonesboro.
Clayton county police were called to a house late Friday, but Police Sergeant KT Hughes said its occupants denied any knowledge of the child to officers.
Police searched the house but found nothing, the report said.
But when police hours later received another call seeking help at the house, they returned. As a second search was being done, the boy was able to call his mother and tell her where he was being held, reports said.
She directed the police to a false wall, hidden by towels. The apparent hiding space was above the garage of the home, local media reported.
Police told media that the mother had apparently reported the child missing to child welfare authorities in 2010, but not to police, possibly because she was an immigrant and unfamiliar with the legal system.
However, authorities said there were still many unanswered questions over custody and why police had not been involved earlier, and that the child would remain with family services for the time being.
The father and stepmother, Gregory Jeanand Samantha Joy Davis, and three others were charged with obstruction, false imprisonment and cruelty to children.
Neighbors said the boy was seen at times working in the yard and that they heard that he was home-schooled, reports said.