“I just want to find him and get him home,” says Ryan, wearily.
His voice is flat — low and quiet — as Ryan Jones talks about his child, his missing 6-year-old son. The Bourbon, Mo. man is facing Christmas without Braedence as he worries about his child’s safety and quality of life. Abducted by his Camdenton-based mother four months ago, Braedence Jones has been considered an endangered person by the authorities for more than a month after first being reported missing in August.
“I just want to find him and get him home,” says Ryan, wearily. “Right now, we’re just on hold until we can find him. It feels like an empty house. I’m worried. I worry sick every day about where he’s at and how he’s doing.”
And Ryan sounds as hollow as an empty house.
There have been sightings of Aubrey, and one of her closest associates Woodrow Ziegler, in the Lake of the Ozarks area since she failed to return Braedence after a visitation on Aug. 3, 2018, but there have been no verified reports by police of seeing Braedence with them — or anywhere for that matter.
The Camden County Sheriff’s Office is investigating Braedence’s abduction, and the Camden County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has filed a child abduction charge against Aubrey as a result. The Missouri State Highway Patrol has declared Braedence an endangered person and issued an advisory in October that continues today, though the urgency of the message seems to have gotten lost in time, time without the discovery of Braedence.
“We need to see the child, know he’s safe and cared for properly. We don’t care about custody or rights; we’re just concerned about him and want him wherever the court says is the best place for him,” commented Sheriff Tony Helms.
He declined to provide any information about the investigation, but did note that there are staff making it a priority to continue the search for Braedence.
According to Ryan, it appears Aubrey is keeping Braedence out of school as he has not been located at area schools.
“I know the sheriff’s department is doing all they can. They have limitations on what they can do, there are routes they have to take, certain ways they have to do things, but I know they’re very passionate about finding him and getting him home,” Ryan says.
Aubrey Ferguson and Ryan Jones had joint legal and physical custody of Braedence, but the young boy resided with his father since he was discovered to have marijuana in his system and Aubrey was arrested for child endangerment, according to Ryan. That charge appears to have been dropped, but Aubrey was convicted of misdemeanor non-support of Braedence in Crawford County in 2017. She is currently on one-year probation from that charge.
According to Ryan, Aubrey has tested positive for different drugs in the past; she is alleged to use pills and methamphetamine though she has no prior convictions for drug possession and has not been charged on that front.
A local judge also made Aubrey’s associate Ziegler part of the family plan that oversaw the custodial agreement for Braedence. There was a specific court order banning Ziegler from contact with Braedence, according to Ryan, because Ziegler is a convicted felon and alleged drug user.
While Ryan says he’s not sure why Aubrey has done this, her actions did occur closely on the heels of the court order regarding Ziegler.
Ryan is asking anyone with knowledge of Braedence’s whereabouts to contact authorities.
The police describe Braedence Christian Jones as a white male with brown hair and brown eyes and fair complexion. He is 6 years old and is around 3’5” tall, weighing 36 pounds the last time he was seen.
Ryan describes his son as kid who loves spending time outdoors, playing T-ball and any other sport he can get into. And according to dad, Braedence is pretty smart too.
Aubrey Susan Sky Ferguson is 30 years old, weighing around 101 pounds, standing 5’7”. She has brown eyes and brown hair. Woodrow Allen Ziegler is 41 years old, 5’10”, weighing around 250 pounds. He has green eyes and brown hair.
Possible vehicles they may be using include a red 2004 Honda Civic, MO plate DR1-T8R; and a gray 2000 Toyota Camry, MO plate SR5-K7T or TA1-H6X.
Call the Camden County Sheriff’s Office with information at 573-346-2243, or simply 911. Information can also be submitted to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Missing Persons Clearinghouse by calling 573-526-6178 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.