DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — For several hours, police have been draining a public manmade lake near an East Point apartment complex after a 2-year-old boy’s father reported that he had been kidnapped in DeKalb County earlier this week.
The child’s father, 23-year-old Artravious North, has since been arrested.
North reported that his son, J’Asiah Deon Mitchell, was kidnapped at gunpoint at an apartment complex on Flat Shoals Road in DeKalb County around 11:23 p.m. Wednesday. North told police that the child was taken while he was stopped at a stop sign.
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Just after 8:15 p.m. Thursday, DeKalb police said they found no signs of an armed robbery or kidnapping and determined that it was a false report.
Channel 2′s Audrey Washington was at the Lakeview Place apartments in East Point Friday, where crews worked all afternoon to drain the large manmade lake while family members of the toddler looked on.
“It’s really critical. This is a 2-year-old boy,” Ischa Njoku with the East Point Police Department said. “We have to find this boy.”
Channel 2′s Veronica Griffin was live at the lake during WSB Tonight where hours later, police say they are planning to work into the night to continue draining the lake and searching for the toddler.
Investigators say they are focusing on the outer edges of the lake during their search.
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North was arrested by DeKalb County police and charged with false statements and false reports of a crime. He was already in jail on an unrelated crime at the time of his arrest.
Channel 2 Action News obtained North’s booking photo from a previous arrest in Gwinnett County unrelated to his son’s disappearance.
Authorities added that the last place J’Asiah Mitchell was seen was in the same apartment complex in East Point where crews are draining the pond. DeKalb County police said East Point police have taken over the search.
“Right now, we have detectives out there looking through video and putting out flyers and speaking with the community,” Njoku said.
Njoku said police are not looking at anyone else as a suspect in the child’s disappearance.
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Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to call 911 or 770-724-7850. The investigation remains ongoing.
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