Despite stress and anxiety, Hampton community pushes forward in search of Codi Bigsby

codi tribute .jpg
Posted at 2:19 PM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 17:34:59-05

HAMPTON, Va. – The case of missing 4-year-old Codi Bigsby is still getting a lot of attention four weeks after his disappearance was reported.

A Facebook group called “Codi Bigsby - Missing from Hampton, Va” now has more than 24,800 members. It’s run through True Crime Misfits, which creates social media pages about missing people across the country.

On the page, members post everything from photos and videos of searches to artwork with Codi’s picture. They post prayers, hypotheses, and pose questions to the community.

A case such as Bigsby’s, with so many unknowns, can put a toll on one’s mental health. Some members of the Facebook group have shared their anxiety and how they’ve had nightmares due to the stressful situation.

Captain Amy Snead is with the Newport News Fire Department Critical Incident Stress Management Team. She works with both firefighters and police officers. Snead says a missing person case can certainly create anxiety, and it’s important to recognize the signs of stress.

“A common response is withdrawal from your family or friends or activities you’re involved in. I’ve seen people physically sick. I’ve seen people have emotional outbursts, uncontrolled crying,” Snead said. “Everybody’s going to express their pain and their stress in a different way.”

Hampton resident Dianna Beachum stopped by the tribute site near the Bigsby apartment. Her granddaughter placed a bracelet out for Codi.

Beachum says his disappearance has weighed heavily on them.

“We’ve been praying hard for Codi, we really have. I had to stop talking about it quite so much because she started having nightmares about it," Beachum said.

Meanwhile, Captain Snead has a list of common signs and symptoms of stress in someone who’s experienced some type of trauma.

Physical symptoms can include chills, headaches, teeth grinding, fatigue and weakness. Some may experience nightmares, poor attention span, poor memory or hyper-vigilance.

Other signs are withdrawal, change in appetite, increase in alcohol use, and even someone withdrawing from church or experiencing a feeling of abandonment.

Snead encourages not only first responders but members of the public who may experience these signs of anxiety and stress to contact a local psychiatrist, social worker or even the health department for professional counseling or call the Mental Health Crisis Hotline at 1-800-442-4673. The number for the National Alliance on Mental Illness is 757-690-1370.