Missouri woman who kept son in attic sentenced to probation

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CAMDENTON, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri woman who kept her 6-year-old son hidden in an attic during a custody dispute with the boy's father has been sentenced to five years of supervised probation.

Aubrey Ferguson, 31, of Richland, was sentenced Wednesday for child abduction, KRCG-TV reported. She pleaded guilty to the charge in November.

Prosecutors said Braedence Jones' father, who had custody, went to pick him up at Ferguson's home near Camdenton in August 2018 but no one was home. Ferguson sent him text messages the boy was safe but would not say where they were.

The child was located in January 2019 at a home in rural LaClede County.

Court documents said Ferguson's boyfriend, Woodrow Ziegler, nailed the door of the attic crawl space shut and hid it under carpet and furniture. The boy was not kept in the crawl space all the time. Surveillance video showed him several times with his mother but she managed to elude capture, authorities said.

Officers from the U.S. Marshal's service and Laclede County found the boy after receiving a tip about his whereabouts.

Prosecutors charged Ziegler with hindering the prosecution of a felony. That case is pending.

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