Missing 5-year-old boy found
Friends and family of Thomas Evan Diggs gathered to pray for his safe return at the Talladega Courthouse Friday morning. The 5-year-old boy was located Friday, one week after he went missing
TALLADEGA – The search is over for the missing 5-year-old.

Police Chief Alan Watson informed The Daily Home around 9:30 p.m. Friday that Thomas Evan Diggs had been located.

According to a press release from Watson, U.S. Marshals secured the child in Daytona, Fla., and were awaiting the arrival of the little boy’s mother.

The release went on to say, Evan appeared to be in good condition and would be turned over to his mother when she arrives in Daytona.

The child’s father, Thomas Eric Diggs has also been arrested and is being held in Daytona.

Watson said, “The Talladega Police Department wishes to thank everyone who helped to try to locate Evan through TV, news media and social media. A special thanks also to the U.S. Marshals, FBI, Alabama Department of Public Safety, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and all the local and surrounding county law enforcement agencies.”

The search for a 5-year-old boy abducted by his non-custodial father from the Arby’s in Talladega reached the one week mark Friday.

Earlier in the day, Watson said the National Center for Missing and Exploited is now aiding the search and will be distributing fliers nationwide.

“All the investigators we have are working on this now,” Watson said. “This is our top priority.”

A possible sighting in west Tennessee did not pan out, he added.

Friday morning, friends and family members gathered outside the courthouse to pray for the boy’s safe return.

The child’s legal guardian is his mother, Amanda Turner, but his father, Thomas Eric Diggs, 35, of Oxford, had visitation rights.

The boy’s paternal grandmother had asked Turner if her grandson could spend the night with her on Dec. 21, and Turner said yes. About 5 p.m., they went to Arby’s for dinner, and the father was also present.

The elder Diggs volunteered to drive his son back to the grandmother’s house, but never arrived.

Turner called the following day, Dec. 22, to find out what time to come get her son. The grandmother admitted that his father had taken him.

Watson said various law enforcement agencies had been contacted around the area, and the relevant information had been entered into the National Crime Information Center database. A statewide media alert was issued Wednesday, indicating that father and son may be headed to Daytona Beach, Fla.

Contact Chris Norwood at cnorwood@dailyhome.com

© 2012