GLUCKSTADT, Miss. (AP) — Hours of frantic searching for a 6-year-old boy who went missing Thursday after thieves stole his mother’s car ended in tragedy when authorities found him shot dead inside the vehicle.
Authorities found Kingston Frazier shot at least once in the back seat of his mother’s stolen Toyota Camry, abandoned in a muddy ditch, said Jackson Police Commander Tyree Jones.
Police have taken an 18-year-old man into custody for questioning, and authorities were still searching for a second “person of interest,” said Hinds County Sheriff’s Office Major Pete Luke.
Frazier had gone missing after 1 a.m. Thursday when a man took the car from the parking lot of a Kroger supermarket in Jackson. About nine hours later, following a child-abduction alert and widespread publicity, a man reported the Camry was on the side of a dead-end road in the suburb of Gluckstadt.
Officials publicly announced the boy’s death while surrounded by grieving family members.
“A 6-year-old is gone,” said Kingston’s cousin, Kolby Irby. “His mother has to deal with this. That’s her baby.”
The mother, Ebony Archie, left the boy in the car and left the car running while she went inside the store, Hinds County sheriff’s deputies said. The store’s parking lot is patrolled by sheriff’s deputies, including one in a golf cart.
Security video shows that after Archie left, a silver Honda Civic drove up, a man got out, and drove away in the Camry.
A child-abduction alert was played repeatedly on local newscasts and police and family members issued public appeals for help. The car was eventually found 14 miles (20 kilometers) to the north, just off Interstate 55, which also runs in front of the supermarket.
“We’ve been looking for him for nine hours in every neighborhood in Jackson,” said Deanna Moore, the boy’s aunt. Addressing the people who stole the car, she added, “You could have just dropped him off. You could have left him at Kroger.”
Frazier’s body was taken for an autopsy at the state crime lab and the car was towed away by a Highway Patrol wrecker.