Memorial set up for 4-year-old Jayceon Mathis

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Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 6:36 PM EST
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VIENNA, Ga. (WALB) - Police are continuing to investigate what led to the disappearance of a 4-year-old Vienna boy.

Keara Cotton is facing murder and concealing a death charges after human remains were found in the investigation of her missing child, Jayceon Mathis.

Jayceon Mathis and Mom Keara Cotton
Jayceon Mathis and Mom Keara Cotton(GBI)

Police said their investigation started after DFACS and the police department made several attempts to speak with Cotton but weren’t able to.

Vienna Police Chief Ketorie Sales said they became concerned Cotton was hiding something.

“After conducting several interviews and receiving different tips, concerns grew that Keara could have been abusing both of her children,” said Sales.

Vienna Police Chief Ketorie Sales
Vienna Police Chief Ketorie Sales(WALB)

Arrest warrants were issued for Cotton and Mathis was considered missing. Three days later, Crisp County Sheriff’s Office found Cotton. Information in her interview led investigators to human remains, in the woods behind the Olly’s in Cordele.

“We still have to wait for the results from that autopsy to determine if the remains were in fact baby Jayceon Mathis,” said Sales.

Days after the news, crime scene tape, and a memorial are all that’s left at the place 4-year-old Jayceon Mathis called home.

Neighbor and cousin to Cotton, Dorothy Smith, said she never thought anything like this could happen.

Dorothy Smith, cousin and neighbor
Dorothy Smith, cousin and neighbor(WALB)

“A lot of people in this neighborhood are hurting because this is devastating. We got to find out what made her hurt her baby. My cousin started going into a rage every day. She was breaking bottles on the road. She was crying every day. She comes into my house, I asked her what’s the problem. I think she wanted to tell me what had happened,” said Smith.

Law enforcement said this case was very stressful for everyone involved. Chief Sales said if you are abused or if you suspect any type of abuse going on in a home, say something.

“We won’t know what going on unless the community steps up and takes charge. You’re more than welcome to call 911, to call the Vienna Police Department and we will look into any incidents,” said Chief Sales.

At this time, there are no other suspects, and Cotton’s other child is safe staying with the family.

We are still waiting for the autopsy results. We will keep you updated with any new information.

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