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Community comes together to search for missing 4-year-old in Hampton

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Posted at 4:05 PM, Feb 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-01 23:36:30-05

HAMPTON, Va. - The search for Codi Bigsby is becoming dire as temperatures dip into the 30s Tuesday night.

The 4-year-old was reported missing Monday morning by his father, who Hampton Police are now questioning, saying his timeline of the boy’s disappearance doesn’t add up.

Codi’s parents are now considered persons of interest.

Investigators were standing guard at the father’s home in the Buckroe Pointe neighborhood.

“The investigation does not indicate that he was abducted,” said Hampton Police Chief Mark Talbot. “There’s just no reason to believe it.”

Police have been knocking on doors, talking to those in the Buckroe Pointe Apartment Townhomes community, where neighbors say Codi lived with his three siblings.

Investigators continued their search for a second day. They conducted a grid search in the air and on foot.

Veronica Robertson lives in the Buckroe Pointe neighborhood. She said police were in her backyard in the afternoon searching the ditches and debris before making their way deep into the woods behind her home.

“There were maybe five or six cops in my backyard going through the woods and searching the ground and looking high and low and calling his name, hopefully,” Robertson said. “I saw that when I came home on lunch probably for 30 minutes; I saw them out there. They walked this way and then went straight back into the woods just looking for Codi, calling his name.”

Robertson is among the many volunteering to help search for the little boy.

“He could be anywhere,” she said. “I just hope they find him. I hope they find him safely.”

Armed with a backpack full of supplies, 9-year-old Kautier Brown is also determined to find little Codi.

“This is when he gets scared of the dark and you press him in,” Brown said holding up a Minion toy. “Even if it’s cold out here, I’m still going to search for him. I just have a big heart.”

Authorities are very determined to find Codi; they’re using all the resources they can, including an FBI helicopter, planes, drones, K-9s and of course, volunteers.

Volunteers were searching the neighborhood close to the child’s house and News 3 learned that other efforts are underway outside the Hampton Steam Plant, which is the same place 2-year-old Noah Tomlin's body was discovered. In June 2019, Noah was reported missing and was found by police at the plant a week later. His mother, Julia Tomlin has since pleaded guilty to murder in his death.

Hampton Police said there was no lead that Codi was at the steam plant, but they said crews are trying to cover their bases.

The NASA Steam Plant serves the Hampton community as an approach to manage waste and is operated 24/7, seven days a week.

News 3 was also in the neighborhood where Codi was last seen on Tuesday and saw dozens of volunteers gathered. They searched trash cans and other surrounding areas looking for any clues about his disappearance.

Several people who came out and searched the area in hopes of finding the little boy spoke to News 3 and said they are heartbroken.

"There’s no place that we shouldn’t look. We have to also understand that the timeline has changed with the father. So, that may change, and how far he went," CJ Baker, a volunteer helping to search, said.

"I couldn’t sleep last night thinking about Codi, so I had to come out here and at least try to help the search for him," parent Yuglnda Jones said.

Another concerned citizen said, "He’s just a 4-year-old boy that’s missing, and we need to find him - that’s all. But we are here, so that’s what brought me out here. I’ve been out here since 7 a.m. seeing what’s going on; seeing how I can help."

We know Codi's father has been with police and under scrutiny for what happened to his boy. News 3 asked the Chief Talbot if the father is a person of interest, and he said they are most interested in the dad being forthcoming about what he knows. Authorities believe he is the key to finding Codi.

Related: 'Most interested in Codi's parents': Hampton Police need public's help to find missing boy