Police in Fulton County, Georgia, began draining a small lake near an apartment complex Friday in East Point, a day after the father of 2-year-old J’Asiah Mitchell was arrested for lying about the toddler’s disappearance.
J’Asiah went missing Wednesday night while in the care of his father, Artavious North, 23, who initially told police the boy had been kidnapped by armed men while he was leaving a separate apartment complex in Dekalb County.
North was arrested Thursday for making a false statement and false report of a crime after the DeKalb County Police Department said an investigation found there was no robbery or kidnapping.
“There’s either more to the story, or the whole story is just a lie, because even if it was a drug deal gone bad, or whatever the case may be, they would hurt him and not the baby,” J’Asiah’s grandmother said, according to FOX 5 Atlanta. “I think the dad need to tell us what happened.”
Police also searched a landfill in Griffin, Georgia, as part of the investigation.
“I’m overwhelmed. I’m tired, exhausted, scared,” J’Asiah’s mother said, according to FOX 5 after she, and the boy’s grandmother, had initially given a public plea for kidnappers to return him unharmed following North’s alleged lie.
The DeKalb County Police Homicide Unit, which handles missing person’s cases, said after North’s arrest it is turning over the investigation to the East Point Police Department.
J’Asiah was last seen at the East Point apartment complex, police said, according to WSB-TV.
“It’s really critical. This is a 2-year-old boy,” Ischa Njoku of the East Point Police Department told WSB. “We have to find this boy.”
DeKalb County Police Homicide Unit, which handles missing person’s cases, said the East Point Police Department is now in charge of the investigation, FOX 5 reported.