HAMPTON, Va. - The search for missing 4-year-old Hampton boy Codi Bigsby has been an emotional case for many, with lots of volunteer searchers helping to track down any signs of Codi.
People throughout the community are reacting to an announcement made Monday by the Hampton Police Division regarding the department mishandling a request by Codi’s father, Cory Bigsby, for an attorney while being interviewed by authorities.
For the past two weeks, Janice Smith has had faith.
“Just believing that he’s alright, wherever he is,” Smith told News 3.
She lives in the same neighborhood as Codi. Ever since he was reported missing, she’s made daily trips to a tribute set up down the street from their apartment complex.
“He’s so young and can’t take care of himself,” Smith said. “He needs help, wherever he is.”
Teiara Jimerson is a friend of Codi, as well as a volunteer searcher.
“I hope he’s somewhere near his home,” Jimerson said. “I pray every day that they find that little boy.”
"For a few days, our search teams have been organizing and have been coming out here," said Mahogany Waldon.
Waldon has hit the ground running from the start as a volunteer searcher, looking throughout the city for any clues that could lead to Codi being found.
She calls the last couple weeks an emotionally hard time for the community.
“So many of us are concerned. We’re upset; we’re frustrated,” Waldon said.
Monday, she and others learned about the how HPD handled the situation involving Cory’s request for an attorney.
“The family has always stood by that they felt that the situation was being mishandled - that enough effort wasn’t being put on finding Codi and more of the effort was being put on Cory, which is understandable if that’s what their evidence proves,” Waldon said. “We’re just not surprised.”
She told News 3 she and others plan to put more pressure on police and local officials, asking for meetings with police and pushing for complete transparency and answers.
“We have had boots on the ground searching, but we also just want to apply that pressure to make sure that missing people like Codi are not forgotten,” Waldon said.
Meanwhile, Smith believes the attention shouldn't be on the police's action, but on the search for Codi and making sure Cory speaks up.
“If you’re telling the truth, then you don’t have to change anything. You can just spit the truth out,” Smith said. “I’m going to keep on praying and keep on trusting God that that baby is going to be found.”