Authorities in Georgia have brought lying charges against a 23-year-old man who allegedly told police his missing 2-year-old son had been kidnapped. According to Fox5Atlanta, East Point police on Wednesday said the body of a minor they later found could be that of J’Asiah Mitchell, the 2-year-old who disappeared about a week ago.
Authorities said the minor’s father, Artavious North, told them he was with J’Asiah on August 16 when a group of armed robbers confronted them and kidnapped his son. North claimed the kidnapping happened as he was leaving the Aspen Woods Apartments.
Police also said it was highly unlikely J’Asiah had been kidnapped, adding that they had linked the victim’s father to his disappearance. “I will tell you, several of his family members who are very forthcoming have tried to talk to him, and they are pleading with him, ‘Tell the truth’,” East Point Chief Shawn Buchanan said.
“I will tell you that his family is just as concerned about the child as the mother’s family. It’s just that he is not being cooperative.”
The toddler’s family told Fox5Atlanta that North had also told J’Asiah’s mother the victim had been kidnapped on the night of his disappearance. But they said they did not believe his claim.
“We’re very interested to make sure or find out if this is the child. I don’t think this is a coincidence since that 2-year-old child is missing, the body is the size of a 2-year-old, so it’s a possibility that’s the case,” Buchanan also told WSB-TV after the body was found at a garbage facility in East Point.
North is currently in custody for an unrelated charge. Authorities are, however, yet to announce if additional charges will be brought against the 23-year-old over the toddler’s death.
“This has been a very traumatic case. Most of us have children, so a lot of detectives are emotional right now,” Buchanan said, per Atlanta News First. “But I want to make it clear: We are looking at the father as a suspect and looking to charge him with the highest charges possible to make sure he never gets out of jail.”