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Authorities Search Woods for Missing Wake Forest Boy

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WAKE FOREST — A small group of law enforcement officers continued to search Thursday forC.J. Wilkerson, who disappeared four weeks ago.

The estranged husband of the boy's mother is in jail charged with kidnapping, but he is not cooperating with police. Now, a search is under way to find the boy.

The search dogs went out about 7:30 Wednesday morning; they were followed by a team of more than 100 people.

The nine-year-old was last seen January 12, a day his family will never forget.

"I was cooking breakfast and he came in and just grabbed me from the back, from around my waist, and hugged me from the back, and laid his head on my back and said, 'Good morning, daddy,'" says C.J.'s father, Clarence Wilkerson. The man police believe is at the center of the disappearance is 26-year-old Derrick Glover, the estranged husband of C.J.'s mother.

Glover has been charged with kidnapping the boy, but he is not saying a word about where C.J. might be.

Police think C.J. is somewhere in the 3.5 square-mile area they searched Wednesday, but they do not sound optimistic.

"I don't believe C.J. is alive at this point," said Wake Forest Police Chief Greg Harrington.

The highway patrol and the new Sky5 helped search the area for clues, including the clothing C.J. may have been wearing when he disappeared.

The hunt took authorities into abandoned buildings, along roadsides, and into the neighborhood near C.J.'s home.

The search has frustrated many, including Raheem Scott, who says authorities should have started the hunt sooner.

"They should have started the first day she presented the information to them," Scott said.

"The mother assured us that Derrick Glover wouldn't bring harm to her child," Harrington said. "We were following up leads that she was providing to family in South Carolina."

Harrington says he is frustrated as well by the lack of leads and the lack of cooperation from the prime suspect.

"Realistically, the chances of finding him alive are fairly slim," Harrington says.

C.J.'s family says police will not find anything "because in order for him to be around in these woods or somewhere, he would have to be harmed, he would have to be dead. And he isn't dead," says the boy's father.

The family is putting fliers up all over the state, including as far away as Roanoke Rapids. They are also posting information about the disappearance on the Internet.

A week ago, neighbors began their own search on horseback covering acres of property, a search they plan to resume with up to 20 horses when authorities give up the hunt.

"We'll be out here Saturday and Sunday. So if you see us, and we're on your property, try not to get mad," says Doug Perry, who lives in the area.

If you think you know something about C.J.'s whereabouts, call the Wake Forest police at919-554-6150.

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Lynn French, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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