UPDATE: Christopher was found dead today, one week after his abduction. Details are in my more recent post here: https://eheavenlygads.wordpress.com/2007/03/15/christopher-barrios-found-dead/
Six-year-old Christopher Barrios, Jr. of Brunswick, Georgia vanished without a trace five days ago and, finding no physical clues anywhere, police strongly believe the child has been abducted.
Christopher was last seen last Thursday evening, March 8, playing in a children’s play area in the Canal Mobile Home Park, where the child resides. He was reported missing by his parents within two hours of their notice that he was gone without a trace.
More than 300 volunteers have scoured the area over the weekend, but have found nothing. Divers have searched pond, creeks, canals and even wells within a five-square-mile area of the child’s home. Searches have also combed back yards, wooded areas, ditches and dumpsters. Not one clue to Christopher’s disappearance has been uncovered.
Late Monday evening, Glynn County authorities responded to a tip and conducted an emergency search of a mobile home in the same park that belongs to a registered sex offender living very close to the child’s grandmother. Police say this man, who they have not identified, was arrested the day after the child became missing on a probation violation and is currently in the county jail. Police further identified this tip as having come from one of the sex offender’s own family members.
Christopher was not found in the trailer and police are not revealing if their search yielded any results. But it looks doubtful.
While police have called off their ground search efforts in the area to focus their resources upon this apparent abduction, a helicopter has been summoned to search for the child at night using thermal imaging equipment. Volunteers have vowed to gather each morning and continue their own searches until Christopher is found, or the child’s family tells them to stop.
Christopher is a Hispanic-black male child, around four feet tall and weighing about 60-70 pounts. He has short black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue or green long-sleeve shirt with a white T-shirt beneath, and long black pants. He was also wearing white tennis shoes with a blue stripe on the side and a Velcro closure on top.
The reward for Christopher’s return has been upped to $40,000. Anyone with information – real or perceived – is urged to contact the Glynn County Criminal Investigation Division at 912-554-7803. To remain anonymous, the police offer a “Silent Witness” line at 912-264-1333. Also receiving anonymous calls with any tips is the First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS. Finally, one may also contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.
Another monster on the loose?
The child’s poster at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is here:
UPDATE of 3/14 at 12:00 Noon:
Joining George Edenfield’s mother, Peggy, in jail is his father, David, and a family friend named Donald Dale. All three have given police more crazy, unsubstianted information. But the mother insists that the child has been burried in a nearby field. Authorities and volunteers continue combing the area today.
CNN now has information here, as well as the fact that Edenfield was convicted in 1997 on two counts of child molestation:
UPDATE of 3/13 at 1:42CST:
The name of the registered sex offender has now been released. George Edenfield, 32, reportedly has the mental capacity of a five-year-old and lives across the street from Christopher’s grandmother. The person who called police with the tip that resulted in their search of Edenfield’s home last night was the man’s mother, Peggy Edenfield.
According to breaking reports, the mother, Peggy Edenfield, has today been arrested on charges tantamount to obstruction of justice for changing her story to authorities several times since phoning in her initial tip. She thought the boy would be found in the trailer, but he was not. And with that result, she has changed her “tip” several times now.
Meanwhile, Edenfield told police from jail yesterday that he knew where Christopher’s body could be found. The took him out of jail and he led police to a site where the child was not. Then he, too, changed his story several times.
Volunteers and renewed forces from police are recombing areas near the mobile home park, based upon Edenfield’s claims.
Also, some news reports are saying authorities apparently seized some evidence from Edenfield’s trail in their search last night, but no further details are yet available.
As a sideline, there is some confusion regarding the amount of the reward offered in this case. The $40K reward was reported as recently as this morning by NBC Channel 12 in Jacksonville, but that story has now changed the amount to $32K. Fox states $31.5 and each reporting station seems to post a different amount. Trivial, truly, but I wish they would get their stories straight — this discrepancy speaks to the likelihood of other incorrections in their reportings, as well.
The Fox Network has a story here, with a link to their affilliate that broke the sex offender’s name: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,258495,00.html
NBC 12 in Jacksonville has a tad bit more information here: http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/news-article.aspx?storyid=77738