CBSN

Boy hidden in false wall in Georgia reunited with mother

Last Updated Nov 30, 2014 5:45 PM EST

JONESBORO, Ga. - A 13-year-old Georgia boy had an emotional reunion with his mother after being found by police behind a false wall inside a home.

The boy's father, stepmom, and three other people have been arrested over the incident, charged with obstruction, false imprisonment and cruelty to children. A judge on Sunday denied them bond, reports CBS affiliate WGCL in Atlanta.

The boy was visiting his father in 2010, and the father refused to return him to his mother.

WGCL reports the mom both lives out of state, and is from a foreign country, so she didn't understand the procedures for reporting missing children. She had only reported the boy's disappearance to child protective services and not to police.

Officers showed up at the house late Friday night, but didn't see any sign of the boy.

They returned early Saturday and found the boy when he called his mother while officers were at the house, Clayton County police Sgt. Kevin Hughes told WSB-TV.

"While at the location during the second call, the victim was able to establish phone contact with his mother and she in turn passed on additional information to the officers on the scene," Hughes said. "The victim was found behind a false wall within the residence."

It wasn't immediately clear who asked police to go to the home to look for the boy and how long he had been kept behind the false wall. There were also unanswered questions Saturday about who has custody of the boy, Clayton County police Deputy Chief Mike Register told WSB-TV.

Police officials told WSB they knew where to find him because the teen found a cellphone that wasn't turned on and he downloaded the Magic Jack app. He then sent a text message to his mother, who was in Florida.