What appeared to be a regular teenage son working out in the yard wasn’t so, at all. Gregory Jean Jr. had been missing for four years, but no one knew where to look for him. It turns out that he was hidden in plain sight all along. Multiple searches came up empty, and cries for help went unanswered.
However, Gregory Jean Jr. was finally fed up with being a captive. What he did next wasn’t expected at all. He left a string of clues as to where he was hidden so that he could finally be reunited with his family. With lots of twists and turns, this story is almost too crazy to believe. Don’t worry though, this story has a very happy ending.
Click ‘Start Slideshow’ to read the shocking story of a boy who was missing for four years in plain sight.
Father and Mother
In 2010, Gregory Jean Jr. was living with his mom, Lisa Smith, and his brother. They lived a modest and comfortable life in Orlando, Florida. Lisa Smith was an immigrant from Haiti. The boys’ father, Gregory, was never married to Lisa. When the pair separated, Gregory moved to Atlanta, Georgia and didn’t see the boys very often.
They would go to visit occasionally during the holidays or summer, but that was the extent of the contact with them. Gregory didn’t live with the boys’ mother, but he still put up a front about caring for the boys and helped provide for them.
The parents were not married, so Gregory Sr. had to pay for support. Find out how by clicking ‘Next.’
Expensive Child Support Payments
When Gregory moved out, the couple decided on what the child support payments would be. It was a modest payment at the time, but to Gregory it seemed very expensive. He was paying a lot of money without ever seeing the boys or physically taking care of them.
While most fathers pay the child support without question, Gregory was sick of it. He wanted to save that money and put it toward his new wife and her children. It was this thought that led to an elaborate plan that would change Gregory Jean Jr.’s life forever.
What started out as an innocent trip was about to get strange. See what happens by clicking ‘Next.’
Samuel and Gregory Visit Their Dad
Gregory Sr. expressed the desire to see his children, which led to them making the trip together to Atlanta, Georgia. Samuel and Gregory Jr. went together to meet Gregory Sr.’s new wife, Samantha. Everything seemed to be fine during the visit, but then things rapidly changed.
Gregory Jr. and Samuel reported that the house seemed a bit off. Samantha and Gregory Sr. were always whispering and paying more attention to the other children in the house. They were ready to go back home to their mother where they belonged.
You won’t believe why one child was left behind. Click ‘Next’ to see why Samuel was sent alone.
Unfortunately, things got really weird. As young children, Samuel and Gregory Jr. didn’t have a lot of sway over their father. When they were to be sent home, Samuel was sent alone. Samuel didn’t understand why Gregory Jr. wasn’t coming with him, but he was too small to put up a fight.
When Lisa realized that her son had come home alone, she really started to worry. Where was Gregory Jr.? Even though she knew that he was in Atlanta, she was never given the address of the father’s home. Lisa immediately reported Gregory Jr. missing to Child’s Services, but they weren’t sure where to look. Atlanta is a very large city, and it would be impossible to track Gregory Jr. down.
This story didn’t start out too bad. Click ‘Next’ to see what Gregory Jr.’s life was like at home.
Treated Well at First
Gregory Jr. didn’t have a lot to complain about while he first lived with Samantha and his father. He was treated normal like the rest of the children, and he was enrolled in a new school to start with. They would even let him talk to his mom a few times, but he was only allowed to say certain things.
While he would have rather been home with his mother, he thought that his mom must have wanted him to stay with his father. He was too young to really know any different, and since nothing bad was happening, he was fine with staying at home with his father.
Things were about to take a left turn. Click ‘Next’ to see how things started to get a little strange.
Increase in Housework
A few months later, Gregory Jr. started to be treated differently than the other kids. He was responsible for a lot of housework, chores, and yard work. None of the other kids had to do any of this, so Gregory Jr. was responsible for keeping the whole house running. While he wasn’t happy doing this, he didn’t really have a choice.
It was then that Gregory Jr. thought that something was off. However, he couldn’t talk to his mother about it because he was only allowed to talk to her on speaker phone and was told what to say. Gregory Jr. didn’t want to live in this home any longer.
Were things about to get worse? See what happens when Samantha gets angry by clicking ‘Next.’
A Stepmother Snaps
Samantha snapped one day and never went back to normal. Gregory Jr. was put out in the garage on a cot to sleep on. He was also given a bucket to relieve himself whenever he had to go to the bathroom. Nothing was as he thought it should be, and the situation was only getting worse.
Both Samantha and Gregory Sr. were done with having Gregory Jr. They didn’t keep him there because they loved him, they kept him there because they didn’t want to have to pay the child support costs of sending him back with his mother. It was a twisted and sick situation that Gregory Jr. thought he would never get out of. He essentially became the male version of Cinderella, but there was no ball to look forward to.
Gregory Jr. didn’t want to be in the home any longer. See why he stayed by clicking ‘Next.’
Wanted to Be Back Home
There was nothing more that Gregory Jr. wanted than to be back home with Samuel and his mother. However, this was impossible. As much as he wanted to call his mother and tell her the truth, he didn’t have any access to a cellphone. Gregory Jr. was at a loss of what to do. At this point in time, he was still attending public school.
Gregory Jr. knew that the people at his school were supposed to help him if something were to go wrong at the house. He was given no choice, and he thought that telling someone at school might be the best option. Gregory Jr. was scared, but he was ready to change his life for the better. No child deserved to live like he was living.
You won’t believe how brave Gregory Jr. was. Find out what he does by clicking ‘Next.’
Talks to School Counselor
When Gregory Jr. went to school the next day, he found the school counselor to talk to. He began to tell her everything that was going on at his home. The school counselor was obviously shocked, and she was ready to do everything in her power to remedy the situation and make sure that Gregory Jr. was safe.
She sent people from the school to go and check the house of Gregory Jr. The counselor didn’t call the police or send them because that’s not protocol. Usually, the school checks out the home to make sure there is a real problem before police are involved. If someone had just called the police maybe this would have turned out differently.
Would Gregory Jr. finally get out of there? Find out what happens next by clicking ‘Next.’
Put on a Show
When the school personnel came to the home of Samantha and Gregory Sr., they put on a very grand show. They showed a room filled with nice belongings that they claimed was Gregory Jr.’s. However, this was actually a room of another child in the home. They did not show the garage where he slept or the bucket he had to use as a toilet.
No one asked anymore questions after seeing the home. The parents had put on such a good show that they believed that everything was fine. Gregory Jr. was crushed, and he thought he would never get out of this horrible situation. His only solace was knowing that he would be back at school with his friends and forget all about his home life.
This only made things worse for the small child. See what Samantha and Gregory Sr. did by clicking ‘Next.’
Punished for Telling
Unfortunately, Gregory Jr.’s father and stepmother were not happy that he told the school counselor. They knew that if he went back to school it would only cause more problems. Even though the school wasn’t completely satisfied with what they saw in the home the day before, they didn’t know what action to take.
Samantha, on the other hand, knew exactly what to do. She went into the office and withdrew Gregory Jr. from the school completely. Gregory Sr. and Samantha claimed that they were going to homeschool Gregory Jr. to keep him ahead of the regular school schedule. In all actuality, there were no plans to teach Gregory Jr. anything. They just didn’t want another incident to cause a visit at their home.
You won’t believe the crazy past of Samantha. Click ‘Next’ to see the horrific things she had done.
Stepmother’s Crazy Past
While Gregory Jr. was living in the Atlanta home, Samantha would continuously threaten him. She would tell him that she was very crazy, and if he messed with her while she was crazy then he would get hurt. This scared Gregory Jr. enough to not mess with Samantha and do everything that she told him to do.
It turns out that Samantha really did have a crazy past. She had cut her son’s tongue with some hot scissors before, which was what she was on probation for. While Gregory Jr. didn’t know about this, he was still frightened of what she could do to him.
What would happen when Samantha was angry with Gregory Jr.? Find out by clicking ‘Next.’
Beaten Over and Over
When Samantha was not happy with the work that Gregory Jr. did, he would get beaten with a wooden stick. This happened pretty frequently, but the physical abuse wasn’t the only thing he suffered. Gregory Jr. was often humiliated by having to use his bucket as a toilet in front of others.
In addition to this, Gregory Jr. also was not allowed to celebrate Christmas with the family, nor was he allowed to eat with them. There were many days that he would go without food or water. Gregory Jr. was also not allowed to watch television of any kind.
Were things about to be better for Gregory Jr.? Find out what happens by clicking ‘Next.’
Given a Phone
After being homeschooled for a bit, Gregory Jr. saw his opportunity. He asked his father if he could have a cellphone to keep in contact with his school friends. While they didn’t give it to him at first, Gregory Sr. finally obliged and got him a phone that didn’t have any data.
While he had the phone. Gregory Jr. was too scared to use it to contact his mother. He really wanted to talk to her, but he was nervous that his father would find out. Because of this, it took a year before Gregory Jr. felt comfortable enough to contact his mother. He couldn’t just call her since his phone was monitored, but he was ready to start dropping clues.
You won’t believe what Gregory Jr. did after a year. Click ‘Next’ to see the clue he dropped for her!
Contacts Mother Via Facebook
Getting in contact with his mother was more difficult than one might think. Gregory Jr. had to hack into his father’s wifi network, something that he had never used before. He waited for weeks until he found out the password to hook up his phone to it.
Once that happened, Gregory Jr. created a Facebook account with his city location. His only clue to his mother was sending a friend request. It was this small friend request that started the police search that would bring Gregory Jr. home. However, he wasn’t done dropping clues just yet.
That’s not the only clue he dropped for his mother. Find out what else he did by clicking ‘Next.’
Shares Photos and Messages
Gregory Jr. had to do everything fast, and he couldn’t allow his father to find out. He sent photos of his house to his mother with a message of where he would be. Lisa immediately sent the photos and the address to the police in Atlanta so they could go check out the house.
It had been four years since she had truly talked to her son, and she couldn’t believe that it was really happening. However, she didn’t know the details of what Gregory Jr.’s life had been like, so Lisa wasn’t sure if he was in danger or not. Because of this, she was frantic on the phone with the police until they went to the house to look for Gregory Jr.
Would Gregory Jr. finally be found? Click ‘Next’ to find out the heartbreaking end result that happened.
Police Come Up Empty
When the police showed up to the Atlanta home, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. It was a modest home with a family that seemed fairly normal. In fact, Samantha and Gregory Sr. claimed that they hadn’t seen Gregory Jr. in years.
Samantha even told an elaborate tale about how they believed Gregory Jr. had ran away from his Florida home and was now living in New York. With no search warrant, the police couldn’t do anything. They allowed the police into the home to search for Gregory Jr. willingly, but they didn’t see him anywhere. It turns out that Gregory Sr. had made Gregory Jr. hide in a fake wall behind the garage. This was a frequent hiding spot for the boy when company would come over. It was nearly undetectable.
Gregory Jr. was determined to get out of there. Find out what he did to get out by clicking ‘Next.’
Updates in Real Time
The first time the police came to the home, there was no sign of Gregory Jr. anywhere. However, Gregory Jr. knew that it would only get worse if they couldn’t find him. He would not let himself stay captive in this house of horrors. Once again, he called his mother. Lisa was relieved hearing from him, but she knew that they had to work fast.
Lisa called the police again and had Gregory Jr. tell them exactly where to find him in the house. The updates were coming in by text in real time, and Gregory finally had hope that he would get to return to his mother and brother back home. The police showed up to the home again and Lisa directed them exactly to where Gregory Jr. was being kept.
You won’t believe where police found the child. Click ‘Next’ to see where they had hidden him.
Finding Gregory Behind Wall
The police never would have found Gregory Jr. without the help of the texts that Lisa sent them. Samantha and Gregory Sr. had put him inside a false wall that was in a linen closet up in the attic of the garage. It was this very small and cramped area that was full of dangerous insulation and wooden beams.
Gregory Jr. was often forced into this hiding spot, and it was very hard to find. There were multiple walls that had to be passed through before they could see Gregory Jr. However, when the police finally got to him, Gregory Jr. was overjoyed. He was so thankful to the police for coming to get him.
Where is everyone now that it is over with? Click ‘Next’ to read all about the family’s joyous reunion.
Where They Are Now
The night that Gregory Jr. was found, his mother drove through the night from Florida to Atlanta to come and get him. It was a miraculous reunion that happened right before Christmas of 2014. The family could not stop hugging and crying, and Gregory Jr. was happy to finally be free.
Samantha and Gregory Sr. were put into prison for child cruelty and false imprisonment. These were both felony offenses, so they weren’t going to get out too soon. The four years that Gregory Jr. lived in that Atlanta home were complete horror, but he is doing much better now. It’s safe to say that Gregory Jr. is going to be celebrating many more happy Christmases now that he is out of that home. As far as Samantha and Gregory Sr. go, their Christmases are going to be spent behind iron bars.