When Gregory Jean Jr. went to visit his dad and stepmom in an Atlanta suburb he was so excited to hang out with his other family. Little did he know the horror he was about to endure for four years at the hands of people who he thought loved him.
When police finally found the teenager he was in bad shape and had a horror story to tell which shocked the nation.
Police officers who discovered the 13-year-old said he was hidden in a compartment, containing wooden beams and insulation, between the garage and attic of the home, in Jonesboro, Georgia.
“It was an area where no person should be living or held,” Clayton County Police Sgt. Joanne Southerland said. “No one should have been in that area where we found the victim.”
Gregory Jr.’s mother, Lisa Smith, and father had come to an informal custodial agreement after their separation—they agreed Gregory Sr. would send child support money to Smith. To stop him from contacting his mother, Gregory Jr.’s stepmother convinced the boy that his mother did not want him back. “[Samantha Joy Davis] said it was better for my dad if I stayed there,” he said in an interview with Mail Online. Smith never contacted the police about he missing son as she’s an immigrant who says she was unfamiliar with the system.
Gregory Jr. told police he was kept against his will in the house and forced to do all the housework for his stepmother.
“I felt like a maid. I had to clean the house and yard, and if there was even a leaf out of place my stepmom would beat me with a stick,” he told MailOnline after he was found and had returned to his mother’s home in Orlando, Florida.
He also tried to tell his school counselors about the abuse he was suffering hoping they could help:
“I told my counselor at school what was happening at home and at first they believed me. They went to my house on a home visit but my stepmom hid everything so they did not believe me. She hid the cot she made me sleep in, the bucket she made me use to go to the bathroom in and the stick she hit me with. After that I was put on punishment for a long time and she took me out of school.”
He added: “I had to sleep on a cot in front of the door of the garage. She only gave me a thin blanket to cover me and I got cold. The other kids slept in a bed.
Gregory Jr. finally found a way to get in touch with his mother and ask for help through an app called Magic Jack but when police were alerted and searched his stepmother’s home they failed to find him as he was forced to hide behind a fake wall in the attic of the garage.
The 13-year-old said, “When the police went away the first time my stepmom got real mad. She told my stepbrother ‘get him.’ He punched me in the face and pushed me down the stairs.”
Gregory managed to get in touch with his mom again and told them where he was hidden. The police went to the house again and were able to rescue him, just in time for Gregory to be reunited with his mom and brother for Christmas.
“I was so grateful to the police officers when they found me, I kept saying, ‘thank you, thank you,’” Gregory beamed.
The boy’s stepmother, Samantha Joy Davis and his father, Gregory Jean Sr., were arrested and charged but Gregory feels no resentment towards the pair.
“I don’t want my stepmom or my dad to go to jail. If her [Davis’s] family think I put them in jail that’s wrong. I just want to be free to live my life and let them live theirs,” he said.
Watch the video below to find out more about this boy’s remarkable story.
What a horrific ordeal this boy had to endure but his ability to forgive and hold no resentment and at such a young age is truly inspirational and a lesson to us all. Please share if you agree.