In the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, a young boy is hard at work in the yard of a comfortable home. That boy is Gregory Jean Jr., and as his neighbors look on, they have no idea that he has been missing for four long years. Ultimately, however, he manages to leave a trail of clues pointing to his whereabouts, and his extraordinary story is unraveled at last.
Back in 2010, Gregory was living with his mother, Lisa Smith, in Orlando, Florida. His father, Gregory Jean Sr., was not married to Lisa, and the pair were living apart. Nevertheless, they had established an informal agreement that saw Gregory Sr. send funds to help Lisa care for Gregory Jr. and his brother, Samuel.
Although his parents were no longer together, Gregory Jr. made every effort to stay in contact with his father. Each day, when he came home from school, he would speak to Gregory Sr. on the telephone. And despite the family troubles, he admitted that he loved his dad.
Then, that year, everything changed. By that time, Gregory Sr. was living in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. He had married a woman named Samantha Joy Davis and started another family. However, he seemed to still want to be a part of Gregory Jr. and Samuel’s lives, and so the dad suggested that they make a trip to see him in Georgia.
Together, Gregory Jr. and Samuel traveled more than 400 miles to see their father and meet his new family. However, something went wrong. By the time that the visit was over, Samuel had returned home to Lisa – but Gregory Jr. was nowhere to be seen.
When Gregory Jr. failed to appear, Lisa informed the Orlando court services; but for reasons unknown, she did not notify the police. Consequently, for the next four years, Gregory Jr. remained missing. And although Lisa spoke to her son on one or two occasions during that period, she had no idea where he was living.
Finally, on November 28, 2014, Gregory Jr. contacted Lisa out of the blue. Apparently, he had been able to get hold of a cellphone and send a message to his family – who had never stopped looking for the boy. So, armed with the address of where her son was located, Lisa got in touch with the police.