Florence County, SC - FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – Relatives of Jermine Davis have been charged after investigators say they hid him inside an attic on multiple occasions to keep authorities from finding him and returning him to his foster mother.
Three relatives of the 10-year-old boy have been charged by Florence County Sheriff's investigators in connection with the child who was missing for 22 days.
Josephine Burgess, the mother of Davis, has been charged with kidnapping, child endangerment and giving false information to law enforcement.
Dianne Burgess, the grandmother, and Galanda Quilnett Burgess, the sister of Davis, were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, child endangerment and giving false information to law enforcement.
Investigators say after the 10-year-old left his foster home June 7, he was hidden from investigators who were attempting to locate him by family members.
According to authorities, on multiple occasions the suspects hid Davis in the attic of their home on Eugene Street in Lake City, SC.
Officials further believe the suspects moved Davis from Eugene Street to other locations in order to keep law enforcement from returning him to his foster mother, who has legal custody of the child.
Investigators say evidence led them to believe Davis was not the victim of foul play and was possibly with family members.
"It is disturbing that at a time when we have marshaled the resources of this office as well as others in an effort to locate a missing child that anyone would interfere with that process," Sheriff Kenney Boone stated. "We repeatedly requested that anyone, including family members, with information on the whereabouts of this child to contact us. Not only did they not do that, they actively took steps to prevent us from finding him. We cannot tolerate this interference with the search for a missing child."
Dianne Burgess was released on June 30 from the Florence County Detention Center on a $16,000 surety bond.
A magistrate judge set bond for Galanda Quilnett Burgess at $16,000 Friday. Bond for Josephine Burgess was set at $50,000.
Both remain in custody at the Florence County Detention Center.