Two years ago, Shannon Wilfong took off with her son, Ricky, without the permission of the boy's father. Wilfong later surfaced, but Ricky remained missing—until Friday, when he was discovered in a hidden room at his grandmother's house.
According to the Associated Press, Wilfong and her mother, Diane Dobbs, hid Ricky from the rest of the world by keeping him in a secret 5X12 room at Dobbs' house, which investigators missed when combing through the home for evidence of the boy in 2007, when Ricky disappeared.
Wilfong, who had lost custody of her son to Ricky's father, Mike Chekevdia, had apparently accused Chekevdia of sexually abusing her son before she disappeared with him (and after she had lost custody), but according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, those claims were investigated by DCF and found to be false.
Ricky, meanwhile, has since been returned to his overjoyed father, and Wilfong is being charged with felony child abduction. Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Stan Diggs claims that Ricky is "in good spirits" and that "We let him out of the (patrol) car and he ran around like he'd never seen outdoors. It was actually very sad. He was very happy to be outside. He said he never goes outside." It's a sad story all around, really: once again, Ricky is going to lose somebody, and there aren't enough secret rooms in the world to hide the fact that what his mother did was very, very wrong.
Missing Boy, 6, Runaway Mother Found Hidden In Home In Illinois [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
Missing Boy Found Alive, Hidden At Grandma's House [AP]