Missing boy's return raises questions - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Missing boy's return raises questions

Daphne Porter Daphne Porter
Jyquez Miller Jyquez Miller

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – After a night-long search in the bitter cold, a nine year old Albany boy is back home.

Jyquez Miller showed up at his house on Station Crossing Drive around 9:30AM, cold and hungry.

But his appearance has raised as many questions as his disappearance did. Where was he all night?

The news that Jyquez Miller was at his home, and was safe, was a joyous moment for the hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement that were searching for the missing boy. But there are still questions about the true story of where the boy was as temperatures dipped to 18 degrees, and how he got back home.

Jyquez Miller was taken by ambulance to an Albany hospital to be checked out.

Dozens of law enforcement officers and first responders from across South Georgia and volunteers gathered around his home watching. The relief he was back home alive and safe quickly turned to questions.

Searcher Daphne Porter says a man told her he found the child walking down the road and the child indicated he spent the night outdoors. "Somewhere out here, sleeping on a bench. But the man brought him home to his family,"  Porter said.

But emergency workers are skeptical that the child could have survived the subfreezing temperatures and police have a lot of questions about his story.

The FBI helped in the initial investigation, and then left it to the Albany Police Department, satisfied that there were no federal crimes involved. Investigators this evening say there are still looking into the many questions still unanswered about this missing boy.

"Right now we know we have a 9-year-old that has been safely brought home," Banks Whitley said. "He is being checked out for further observation, to make sure he is fine. We're just excited he is here."

But the mystery of where Jyquez Miller was during the 18 and a half hours is still unanswered.

Relatives said Miller and his Mother were still at the hospital, but that he was in good condition. Police say they are still conducting their investigation, but no criminal charges have been filed against anyone in this case.

The Albany Police called the FBI to assist in this missing child case, because the federal agency is routinely called when a 'child of tender age' is missing and kidnapping could be a possibility. 

Albany Police are evaluating how they handled the overnight search for the missing boy.

Hundreds of volunteers responded to APD's call for help, including dozens of first responders and police officers from Sylvester to Americus. Albany Police called in every available officer in the department.

Debra Edwards started searching woods in the area at 10:30 last night and kept it up until Jyquez Miller was found this morning. 

"I know that if I went home and laid down and slept in my bed, I would have probably felt bad. Not knowing that I came out and doing all that I could to find the boy," Edwards said.

You stayed out all night on the coldest night of the year? "Yes sir, it was worth it."

"We want to on behalf of the Albany Police Department want to personally thank everyone for coming out to assist us," said Phyllis Banks Whitley of APD.

Dozens of volunteers gathered for hot chocolate and food from the Salvation Army and Red Cross after the boy was found.

FBI Special Agent Donnie Green said the search was one of the best he has seen because of the outstanding response from area law enforcement and volunteers.

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