HAMPTON, Va. - Community search groups have been looking for 4-year-old Codi Bigsby for days now.
Frank H. told News 3 he is frustrated by the lack of answers, specifically from the father, 43-year-old Cory Bigsby, who police named the sole person of interest on Wednesday.
Cory went to the Hampton Police station voluntarily. He has retained legal counsel.
Thursday night, police announced he has been taken to adult intake and charged with seven counts of felony child neglect, stemming from incidents that go back well over a month.
“I don’t believe none of the stories - that this boy just up and gone and nobody knows nothing," Frank said. "If that was my granddaughter, somebody has to know something. He knows something."
Groups have been gathering at Merrimack Elementary School daily, canvassing the surrounding area passing out fliers. Frank said he has been riding around on his bike looking for Codi.
“If this boy ain’t found between today and tomorrow, somebody gotta press somebody a little bit harder so we can get some real answers," Frank said. "This is either going to come to a tragic end or a good end - that’s it."
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) fanned out to cover the woods in Hampton’s Fox Hill neighborhood Thursday.
Search teams presumably expanded their grueling search beyond the one-mile radius of the Buckroe Pointe community, where little Codi lives with his father.
Tommy Johnson’s home butts up to the large, wooded area.
“Theres a swamp in the back and goes down to Beach Road,” said Johnson.
Neighbors are on high alert as the search for the 4-year-old boy stretches into its fourth night.
Dawn Kuemper joined the effort saying she knows the Buckroe Beach area in and out. She’s lived here all her life.
“There’s places around here that maybe the officers don’t know about - little cubbyholes or woods that might be hidden somewhere else,” Kuemper said. “We really need to use the hunters and the fishermen especially for those type of areas.”
Hampton mom Faith Moore and her 4-year-old son, Camden, helped in a much different way Thursday.
They dropped off homemade cookies and dog treats to officers and their K-9s. Attached to the cookie box was a card Camden made that read, “To our hero’s. Thank you for dedication, time and passion for look for Codi!”
“We have all these people here that are working,” Moore said. “The least we could do is make some cookies to try and make their day a little bit better in the search for him.”
Lt. Paula Scheck with the Hampton Police Department thanked Camden and said those thoughtful gestures help keep them going as they continue their search.
“It’s a huge help; I mean anything that we can do to keep the officers’ spirits up,” Lt. Scheck said. “It goes a long way. We’re out here all day, all night, and it reaffirms to us how much our residents mean and how important it is for all of us to come together to find baby Codi.”
Moore is remaining hopeful Codi will be found alive, but said it pains her to see searches coming up empty with each passing day.
“It’s heartbreaking having a 4-year-old myself and a 1-and-a-half-year old,” she said. “It hits close to home to know that there’s a little boy out there that is alone and scared.”
So far, police said they’ve spoken to hundreds of people, covered a huge amount of ground and followed every possible lead.
Still, they said this investigation remains a search and rescue not a recovery effort. Police said they’ll continue to search the area until Codi is found.
With searchers growing weary, News 3 talked to a licensed psychotherapist about the effects a missing child can have on community members. Dr. Sarah Williams said anxiety and stress are high in these situation.
“You want to keep hope and you want to believe that these circumstances will lead to a healthy recovery, but at the same time you’re grieving the possibility of the trauma that’s on the horizon,” Williams said.
She said it’s important to have a dialogue with friends and family to discuss emotions.
“We are the protectors of our children, and when we feel like that is violated, then it creates more of an anxiety-ridden experience,” Williams said.