(CNN) — A boy who was missing for about four years has been found in an Atlanta-area home, thanks in part to to the child’s use of a cell phone, police said Saturday.
Police officers, guided by the boy’s phone message or call to his out-of-state mother, found him hidden behind a “false wall” in a home near Jonesboro overnight Friday, Clayton County police said.
Five people were arrested on preliminary charges that included obstruction, false imprisonment and cruelty to children, police said.
Authorities didn’t immediately release names of those arrested or the boy’s age. They also didn’t say where the boy had lived previously or whether he was related to any of the home’s occupants, nor did they explain the circumstances of his disappearance four years ago.
Police said they went to the home twice to look for the boy, starting Friday night, after someone — police didn’t say who — asked them to check the home. They didn’t find the boy during the first visit, and several people there told officers that they didn’t have any information about him, police said.
But for reasons police didn’t immediately explain, officers eventually returned.
“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,” Clayton County police said in a news release. “The victim was found behind a false wall within the residence.”
The boy was reunited with his mother Saturday morning, Clayton County police Sgt. Kevin Hughes said.