Local News

Father anxious to learn if missing Durham boy is alive

Posted March 1, 2011 1:56 p.m. EST
Updated March 1, 2011 6:09 p.m. EST

— The father of a missing 5-year-old boy said Tuesday that he desperately wants to know whether his son is alive and where he is.

Authorities in Durham and in Colorado have been searching for Jadon Higganbothan for at least a week.

The boy's mother, Vania Rae Sisk, met with El Paso County, Colo., deputies Monday evening after learning that authorities had been searching for her and her son. Lt. Lari Sevene of the sheriff's office said Tuesday that she had no information on the whereabouts of the boy.

Jamiel Higganbothan, who divorced Sisk several years ago and now lives in Georgia, said Tuesday that he was stunned to hear from Durham police last week that his son was missing.

"All you want to know is, is your child alive," Higganbothan said.

He said he last spoke with Jadon about 18 months ago, when the boy was visiting relatives in Colorado Springs, where Higganbothan and Sisk used to live. He said it has been hard to keep up with Sisk and Jadon since the divorce, and he said he was surprised to learn that they had recently left Durham to return to Colorado.

Higganbothan said Jadon was last seen in October, although he didn't specify who saw him at that time. A missing persons report hasn't been filed with Durham police, and it's unclear who reported the boy missing.

Durham police have declined to answer questions about the case, saying only that they are working with Colorado authorities.

"It makes me wonder why (Sisk) hasn’t told authorities where he is," Higganbothan said. "So many scary thoughts are going through my mind, you know, because it shouldn’t take this long for you to just open up your mouth and give the information that’s needed."

Authorities went to a Colorado Springs home last Wednesday to ask Sisk about the missing boy, but neither she nor her son was there. Colorado Springs police said nine other children were taken from the home and placed in the custody of the Teller County, Colo., Department of Social Services.

Higganbothan said Sisk was living with friends of relatives of her boyfriend. Many of the same people had been living in Durham previously, he said.

Durham police have searched a home at 2109 Pear Tree Lane for several days for evidence in the case. Technicians removed a box and a bag of items from the house Tuesday.

Sisk hasn't been charged with any crime.

"You never could even imagine somebody causing any kind of harm to Jadon because, when you look in his face, he always just seemed like he was a happy baby," Higganbothan said.

”I just want to know, is my child alive?" he said. "No matter what mistakes you made – what you did with Jadon, you know, or if you left him somewhere – it’s OK because I can get my child from wherever he is. But I can’t get him if he’s dead.”