Hampton Police announce they mishandled Cory Bigsby's request for attorney during interviewing

Hampton Police Chief Mark Talbot at Hampton City Council meeting (February 9).JPG
Posted at 2:39 PM, Feb 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-14 23:49:55-05

HAMPTON, Va. - Hampton Police held a press conference Monday afternoon to provide updates on missing 4-year-old Codi Bigsby's case.

During the press conference, officials began by providing a timeline of events from the first day Codi was reported missing. Codi Bigsby was reportedly last seen in his father's home at 2 a.m. on January 31. It has now been two weeks since the search for Codi began.

Hampton Police Chief Mark Talbot began by stating how proud he was of the department and public for being outside every day searching for Codi. He stated the investigation has "a lot of moving parts."

Police have previously stated that Cory voluntarily arrived at headquarters after reporting Codi missing. They said he was read his rights and Cory voluntarily waived them on January 31.

Chief Talbot said they began reviewing video footage Friday of the hours of Cory being interviewed by detectives. He said they suggested for a polygraph test to be taken, which police said he agreed to take one voluntarily.

Chief Talbot said there was a heated exchange between Cory and the detective following the polygraph test when discussing results. In the midst of the argument, it was revealed in video footage that Cory requested an attorney.

Chief Talbot said he is disappointed in learning this information and that police should have honored his requests. Cory reportedly requested an attorney around 4 a.m. on February 1 and then again several minutes later around 4:20 a.m.

"We have our own obligation here. We didn’t meet it, frankly. We have our own obligation to maintain the highest standards of conduct to make sure we’re not skirting any lines that appear to be inappropriate or are questionable," Chief Talbot stated.

Those requests from Cory Bigsby, Talbot said, were ignored.

“My assessment is that his desires should have been honored; they weren't," he said.

Hampton Commonwealth's Attorney Anton Bell said Monday he is not yet in possession of the video but expects to have it "shortly." His office will assess all the evidence involved.

"What I will tell you is we are aware of the situation, and we are assessing the case and assessing all of the issues involved," Bell said. He is not giving any on-camera interviews.

Cory's attorney, Jeff Ambrose, told News 3 that Cory was not at police headquarters voluntarilyfor four days; he says Cory asked for an attorney and was denied.

"I’m incredibly grateful and proud of our Hampton Police Division today - that they went and they reviewed all of those tapes on their own to make sure that there was nothing amiss and when something was, they immediately came forward and made it available to the public," Ambrose said Monday. "I think [it] says a lot about the police department, and I gotta say, I’m proud to be a citizen of Hampton today. I think they’ve handled it well, given what happened."

Previously, Chief Talbot stated that Cory knew his rights and never requested an attorney. He says as soon as this was discovered on Friday an internal affairs audit was immediately started by the Commonwealth's attorney.

"Uh, Mr. Bigsby is a 43-year-old man who's had a full career in the army. He retired to a position of authority. He seems to be quite intelligent, he seems to be quite capable, and part of his capabilities seem to be understanding his rights. At no time did he request to see an attorney. Had he made such a request, we would have honored that request," Chief Talbot said in a previous press conference on February 4.

The chief now says at the time, he was going off of bad information.

Cory was charged on February 3 with seven counts of felony child neglect, stemming from incidents that go back well over a month. Chief Talbot says despite this information being found out, his charges are sound. He says his charges are based on interviews and evidence in the early hours of the investigation.

Meantime, as the multi-agency search for little Codi continues, the police chief is encouraging volunteers to keep searching on their own, adding the investigation –though now uncertain - is a combined effort.

“I'm disappointed that we have done anything that may have slowed us down on our quest to bring justice to this child,” said Talbot.

Monday, the Hampton NAACP issued the following statement on the police department's error:

"Innocent or guilty, every citizen is entitled to due process. The Hampton Police Department must conduct a thorough internal investigation and ensure that any officer who didn't follow proper procedure or assisted in covering up the issue is properly disciplined immediately."
Gaylene Kanoyton, president of the Hampton branch of the NAACP

The lead detective on the case is now on paid leave. The chief said he’s been with the department for 11 years.

Police say the search still continues to find Codi.

Related: Search for missing 4-year Codi Bigsby continues, 2 weeks after reported missing