Florida Mother Seeking Answers after 5-Year-Old Son Went Missing at School

Francis Akhalbey September 14, 2022
The family of a 5-year-old boy said the minor went missing for nearly two hours after school ended -- Image via WEAR-TV

The grandmother of a 5-year-old boy, who went missing for nearly two hours after school ended, said the minor was “crying” and “scared” when he was eventually found. In an interview with WEAR-TV, Brenda Thomas said she wants officials at the school to be held responsible for little Jayquan Rigdell’s disappearance.

The minor’s grandmother picks him up from Montclair Elementary every day, his family said. But when she went there on September 2 for another school run, Jayquan’s teacher told her that the minor was nowhere to be found as he had “wandered off.”

“I said what you mean wandering off?” Thomas recalled. 

She said she goes to the school around 1:30 p.m daily to pick her grandson up. “They know every day I’m here getting my grandbaby,” Thomas said.

And though the teacher told Thomas that she did not know Jayquan’s whereabouts, the minor’s family said she did not want to offer any help. 

“The principal ain’t anywhere to be found! Or the teacher!” Thomas said. “Why didn’t you stay there to help my grandmother find your student? That’s not ok! That’s not someone you want watching children.”

Thomas said she then started searching for her grandson. “I didn’t know where my baby was, so I thought somebody maybe got him,” she said. “So I rode all around Montclair, Ayers Blvd., everywhere looking for him. I got back to the school and told them I still couldn’t find him.”

Other family members and friends ultimately joined the search, and Jayquan was found almost two hours later. 

“Found my baby down Montpellier, walking! Crying! All sweaty, scared, shaking!” Thomas recalled. “My baby’s still scared. He’s traumatized because he didn’t know if he’d make it home.”

The minor’s mother said the teacher, principal or school district officials hadn’t reached out to her at the time of this report. 

“He’s just 5 y’all,” Thomas said. “All these kidnappers, traffickers, anybody could’ve got my baby and I would’ve never seen him no more. I want them to be held responsible for what happened to my grandbaby. And I’m not gonna stop until I get answers.”

Last Edited by:Sedem Ofori Updated: September 14, 2022


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