An Ohio teen who vanished after watching his father get murdered in front of him has been found safe a year later.
Jacob Caldwell, 15, was with his younger siblings and dad Robert Caldwell, 35, in August of 2017 when a gunman opened fire, hitting and killing his father.
The shooter was later revealed to be Sterling Roberts, the new boyfriend of Robert Caldwell’s ex-wife Tawnney, 33. Tawnney, who is Jacob’s mother, is currently in jail facing murder charges along with Roberts.
Jacob Caldwell, who vanished after watching his father get murdered in front of him has been found safe a year later, after a billboard campaign
Jacob Caldwell, 14, was with his younger siblings and dad Robert Caldwell in August of 2017 when a gunman opened fire, hitting and killing his father (Robert with new wife Candice and his two children)
The shooter was later revealed to be Sterling Roberts (right), the new boyfriend of Robert Caldwell’s ex-wife Tawnney (left). Tawnney, who is Jacob’s mother, is currently in jail facing murder charges along with Roberts
Six days after the horrific shooting, Jacob fled.
Sugarcreek Township Police confirm Jacob was found safe on Monday night in south Dayton.
He was found just days after ten digital billboards, donated by Lamar Advertising Company and Norton Outdoor Advertising, were installed along Interstate 75 began displaying Caldwell’s missing posters to help locate the teen.
Authorities had also mounted search efforts across state borders and the FBI even offered a $15,000 reward.
In a news conference Tuesday morning, Chief Michael Brown, of the Sugarcreek Police Department, said a ‘very credible’ tip came in to the department from the billboards and at 11.30pm Monday night, his office served a search warrant at a home in Miami Township in Montgomery County.
Police found Jacob living in the basement, Fox 45 reported.
He did not appear to have been locked in and was free to move around the house, where there were four adults living, officers said. But Brown added that Jacob did not go outside or socialize with any other children.
Brown said the teen seemed ‘traumatized’ but physically healthy and is currently being held at Greene County Juvenile Detention Center.
It’s not yet clear what charges the adults living with Jacob will face.
‘It’s been on our mind every day,’ he said of the missing persons case, adding that t investigators always had a ‘strong feeling that it was a family member involved in him being missing.’
Brown said Jacob was not abducted, but was encouraged by family members to run away.
Jacob’s aunt posted on Facebook she was delighted that her nephew had been found
The FBI released the last photo of Jacob after he went missing in August 2017
Sugarcreek Township Police confirm Jacob was found safe on Monday night in south Dayton
Authorities had also mounted search efforts across state borders and the FBI even offered a $15,000 reward
Meanwhile, six people have been indicted in connection with the death of Jacob’s father Robert.
He was walking out of a counselors office with his three kids on August 15, 2017, when he was shot numerous times in the parking lot. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sterling Roberts, was arrested a few days later after police chased him to South Carolina.
Roberts and Tawnney had recently started a family after Tawnney and Robert Caldwell’s divorce. Tawnney was arrested in March this year and charged with murder and aiding and abetting Roberts.
US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Benjamin Glassman said Roberts pulled the trigger, but Tawnney created the plot.
Several of Tawney’s family members were also arrested for aiding and abetting.
Chief Michael Brown, of the Sugarcreek Police Department, said a Jacob living in the basement after a ‘credible tip’ from the billboards
Police say that he appeared traumatized but was physically healthy
Family members believe Robert Caldwell was killed as part of a custody battle with Tawnney.
Robert’s mom Sally DeThomas told Fox 45: ‘He got custody and he got them July 21 and he was being buried a month later.
‘So I think that’s-that seems to be pretty obvious with that.’
Court documents show Robert and Tawnney started their divorce in 2011, shortly after he discovered she was allegedly running an escort website.
His brother said when they married they were deeply in love but that the escort service was the final straw.
Both had moved on since the divorce, and Robert had married his new wife Candice Caldwell.
Candice said it was after their wedding that Tawnney changed and became more aggressive.
Candice is pictured with her late husband Robert and his two kids
Robert Caldwell, pictured with new wife Candice, is believed to have been killed as part of a custody battle with his ex
Then a few days before he was murdered, Robert called 911 to report someone was trying to kill him.
‘Yeah I got a guy chasing me over here on Sutton in Jamestown. Um and he, he just tried to lure me. Uh, I’m assuming he’s trying to kill me,’ Robert told 911 dispatchers.
He even named his killer; Sterling Roberts, to the cops, before calling Candice and telling them to get their kids out of the house.
Ten days after the 911 call, Roberts shot and killed Robert Caldwell.
The FBI would not release details of the Greene County Sheriff’s Office’s investigation into the 911 call from last year.