Relatives may face charges after boy found
By Shelley Smith
Police say the biological grandmother of Timothy Greene could face charges after detectives found the boy hiding in her East Spencer home Tuesday.
Authorities and community members had been searching for 11-year-old Timothy since Friday, when he apparently left his adoptive family’s home on Holmes Avenue.
Salisbury Police received an anonymous tip around noon Tuesday that led them to 303 Southern St. in East Spencer, where Timothy’s maternal grandmother Calarmel McKenzie lives with other relatives.
Officers said they found the boy hiding in a locked back room.
The circumstances of Timothy’s recovery did not take away from the reunion for James and Crystal Greene, who fostered and then adopted the boy in 2009 after the death of his mother, Melanie Vanessa Smith.
Though he was crying when police delivered him and he hadn’t said much to the Greenes on Tuesday afternoon, the couple said they were overjoyed with the news, and with the support of the community.
“I’m so overwhelmed at the connection all of Salisbury has,” James Greene said. “They (police) have been with us the whole time. The police have been great.”
The Greenes said they had a feeling Timothy hadn’t gone far.
“I had an idea that he could have been with some of his mom’s family,” Crystal said.
“I think that he really misses his family. He’s talking about his family, he’s talking about his grandmother being really sick and wanting to see her,” James said.
“We always tell him, if you want to talk to your grandmother, let us know,” Crystal said.
Detectives are still working through details of the case, including the role Timothy’s biological family may have played in his disappearance.
Police say they went to the Southern Street home looking for Timothy over the weekend, but without seeing him there or having someone tell them the boy was there, they had no cause to search the house.
Detective Todd Sides said he and Sgt. Brian Stallings visited McKenzie’s home again Tuesday and were told that no one in the family had seen Timothy in over a year.
But the family agreed to let the investigators search the home, and they found Timothy hiding in the back of the house. His mohawk had been shaved, but he seemed to be fine, police said.
McKenzie and her daughter, Marilyn Glenn, say Timothy showed up at their door only about five minutes before police arrived Tuesday.
Glenn said Tuesday afternoon she and her mother heard a light knock at the door and when they opened it, door Timothy was standing on their porch in shorts, with no jacket.
“He ran away and he’s been gone with somebody,” Glenn said. “He had just gotten here.”
And although they say they had nothing to do with his disappearance, the women said they hadn’t spent time with Timothy since Jan. 3, 2010, and wish they were able to see him more often.
“I’ll take it to court if I have to,” McKenzie said. “I want some rights to see him every now and then.”
Glenn said she and her mother knew nothing about any potential charges.
“Nobody told us about it,” Glenn said. She said she’s not sure why their story is now in question.
“They’ve been over here, they were in here searching more than one time,” she said of police. “They started Friday and came every day.
“I want to know why, because we don’t even know nothing.”
Glenn said McKenzie is in poor health and that filing charges against her “wouldn’t be right.”
“We were looking for him everywhere, even my mama,” she said. “The police officer told her she needed to stop because she’s sickly. My mama’s too sickly for that.”
Police were still investigating Tuesday how Timothy disappeared from his Holmes Avenue home Friday, and his family also has questions about the timeline of events.
“We don’t know, that’s still a mystery,” James Greene said about where Timothy had been the past four days.
Glenn said she and McKenzie were also worried about where Timothy could have been.
“I want to know where he had been, and what’s going on, why he’s running away,” she said.
Tape under review
Police are still reviewing surveillance video from the Kangaroo Express on Statesville Boulevard. Someone called in with a tip that Timothy had been seen there with two other boys his age.
Glenn said police also searched the home of Timothy’s paternal grandmother in Kannapolis, and although police would not give details, they said the investigation has crossed into several counties.
Lt. Shelia Lingle said police have worked at least 20 additional hours on this case since Friday at 2:17 p.m., when Timothy was reported missing, and several officers worked the entire weekend on the search.
Investigators continued following leads after Timothy was returned to his parents Tuesday.
James Greene said now that Timothy is back, he can get back into counseling, “where he needs to be.” Timothy is still grieving the loss of his mother, James Greene said.
Crystal said that Tuesday morning she prayed for an answer from God.
“I did get my answer,” she said. “He sent him home.
“I just prayed every day that he was safe and warm and not out in the cold and not hungry.”
The Greenes said there are no bad feelings toward Timothy, and didn’t know if they were going to take any legal action against McKenzie.
“We’re going to see what they (police) want to do, and I’m going to let them do it,” James Greene said.
Contact reporter Shelley Smith at 704-797-4246.