By Jason A. Smith
Efforts to locate a missing McDonough boy have intensified, as a national organization has begun assisting in the search.
Jeffre Few, 10, has been missing since Monday. Henry County Police are on the lookout for the child, and are being aided in the search by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, authorities said Thursday.
Few was last seen at Flippen Elementary School, where police believe his mother, 31-year-old Jennifer J. Cook, picked the child up in her vehicle. Henry Police said this week that Cook did not have legal custody of her son at the time of the incident.
"Cook sent an e-mail to the child's school ... pretending to be the father, asking to make [Jeffre] a car rider," Henry County Police Capt. Jason Bolton said Tuesday. "She picked [him] up around 2:30 p.m., ... and has not been heard from since."
Police said Cook has a warrant out for her arrest in Butts County, on a charge "unrelated" to Jeffre's case.
Ernie Allen, the president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said his group began working on the case Tuesday, after confirming the concerns of the child's custodial parent, his father, Shawn Few.
"We had learned from the [Henry County] Department of Family and Children Services about the case, because they were concerned after talking with Jeffre's school," said Allen.
The center has composed a poster with photographs and descriptions of the child and Cook. Allen said the images are currently being distributed, with an emphasis on areas where the pair may likely be located.
"We have 400 private-sector photo partners in the U.S.," said Allen. "We are working with Jeffre's father to target some areas for saturation of these images."
Although Cook is believed to have taken Jeffre, the center is not identifying her as an abductor, said Allen.
"We will use a photo of an alleged abducting parent where there is a felony warrant," added Allen. "In this case, we are showing her as a companion of the child, because the charges against her are ... not connected with the taking of the child."
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was formed in 1984. According to Allen, the group has helped to locate 142,000 missing children since its inception.
He said it is "in the best interest of the child" to find Cook and Jeffre quickly.
Bolton said Henry Police have worked with the center several times in the past, typically on cases involving runaway juveniles.
"Any additional help is always nice and very much appreciated," said Bolton.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE LOST, or the Henry County Police Department at (770) 957-9121.