Missing Clayton County boy is ‘safe’

Found with relative in Barrow County

Andrew Ngalahom

Andrew Ngalahom

Clayton County police said late Thursday night that they have found a 6-year-old boy, who had been missing from his Riverdale home for two days.

Andrew Ngalahom, police said, has been staying with a family member –– described as a niece –– in Barrow County, apparently since Wednesday. A police spokesperson said the boy’s father had apparently been “under the influence,” and could not tell police where the boy was. The spokesperson said child welfare representatives are involved in the case now, and that unspecified charges could be filled against the father, Moses Ngalahom.

Earlier Thursday, police began a physical search of the Riverdale home where the boy lived with his father, looking for clues to the whereabouts of the 6-year-old, who was last seen Wednesday about 4:30 p.m., playing around the house. The child was not reported missing until Thursday, about 10:30 a.m., according to Clayton Police Lt. Tina Daniel.

About 80 Clayton County police officers and sheriff's deputies scoured the quiet residential neighborhood, plastering homes with the boy's photo and handing out flyers to passing motorists.

Daniel said a thorough search of the neighborhood was done immediately Thursday morning. About 7:30 p.m., Fayette County Sheriff's deputies, with bloodhounds, showed up to search anew. FBI agents also lent assistance.

Police Chief Greg Porter said the boy's father, Moses Yumbi Ngalahom, 55, was taken to headquarters in Jonesboro to be interviewed. He was reportedly "non-chalant" in discussing his son's disappearance.

"He's being cooperative and is not facing charges," said Porter Thursday night. As for the delay in reporting his son missing, "That's a question the father needs to answer."

Neighbors said the father and son have lived in the home at 1281 Willow Drive for about two years. The boy's mother, Delicia Ngalahom, lives out of state. Porter said she has been interviewed, and is not believed to be involved in the child's disappearance.

Neighbors said they believe Ngalahom to be a native of Africa. There was no immediate information on his employment status.

Andrew reportedly missed several days of school this week, causing concern by his teachers at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School. Neighbors said a teacher called Ngalahom Thursday to find out why the boy missed school, and that's when he discovered his son was not in his room.

There is no record of a divorce in Clayton County between the parents. The two were sent eviction notices from Chateau Forest Apartments in March and April of 2005. In September and October of 2008, Moses Ngalahom was once again the target of evictions, but with another person, not his wife.

Moses Ngalahom was arrested in February 2006 for battery under the Family Violence Act, disorderly conduct and theft by taking. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, and the other charges were dropped. He was put on probation, which he violated in January 2007, according to records.

He was arrested in July 2009 for battery and battery under the Family Violence Act. He again got probation, a sentence that was closed in August 2010.