HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Thursday marked day 11 of the search for missing Hampton 4-year-old Codi Bigsby.
His dad, Cory Bigsby, was incarcerated at the Hampton Correctional Facility but has since been moved to Hampton Roads Regional Jail. He’s currently the only person of interest in the disappearance of his son.
Bigsby is charged with 7 counts of felony child neglect. He admitted to investigators that he left his young kids (ages 5, 4 and 2) at home alone dating back to December. On January 25, Bigsby told investigators he left the children for about two hours to run errands. Just six days later, he reported his son Codi missing to Hampton police.
A judge denied Bigsby bond earlier this week after the commonwealth’s attorney mentioned his history of going AWOL while in the military. He is appealing this ruling. WAVY has confirmed that hearing is scheduled for February 25.
On Wednesday night, Police Chief Mark Talbot, community members, search volunteers, and BLM757 activists addressed Hampton City Council during a scheduled meeting. Volunteers continue to search the Buckroe Pointe and Foxhill area after Hampton police wrapped up the command center last Friday.
Talbot shared insight in the case to council, saying that “the evidence about what likely occurred has been very clear” and police have tried to avoid making the search “become a sideshow” as they investigate.
“From the first minutes of the investigation, myself, the assistant chiefs, members of command staff, were at Codi Bigsby’s residence to see for ourselves what the evidence demonstrated. We have followed the evidence from day one. It was very clear to us, the evidence about what likely occurred has been very clear. There is little about this that has been mysterious. We certainly haven’t closed off our minds to other possibilities.”
Talbot also appeared to address calls for a new alert system for cases like Codi’s.
“The sad fact is we didn’t need any additional mechanisms to get the word out,” said Talbot, who had previously said the case didn’t meet the criteria for an Amber Alert.
Before the chief could complete his statement, things got tense with activists in the crowd. The group calls on police to be more active and transparent in the search. The activists were escorted out of the council chambers.
Talbot concluded with: “We’ve tried hard to avoid a search for a 4-year-old boy and in a tragedy, an unmitigated tragedy, we didn’t want it to become a sideshow. We will continue to work and do everything we possibly can to figure out what happened to this child. We will leave no stone unturned. We have not stopped since day one. We have continued to follow the evidence.”
Bianca Wilson, the founder of Building Back Black, asked council members to step up and be more involved in the search for Codi.
“I know you guys have heard a lot about Codi Bigsby, but it has been emotional to search in the woods for a 4-year-old child. Not knowing what we may or may not uncover, so to soften the hearts of not only myself, as a veteran, and the community of Hampton Virginia. I would appreciate it if you can soften our hearts just a little by showing up.”
Mahagony Waldon, a volunteer searcher, echoed the same sentiment.
“I haven’t seen or heard any of our elected officials make statements to encourage the search efforts, to come out and lend a hand with flyers, or to donate their time in some way. If you have done so, pardon me, but I’m speaking on what I have seen. I feel that the city has seemed to neglect the efforts to look for Codi and put more focus on the father.”
Waldon also read a statement that she said was from Codi’s aunt, Tandaleyia Butler.
“As Codi’s aunt, the first real question I have is where is the support from the elected officials of the city? I have traveled hundreds of miles back and forth to make efforts to bring my nephew home with absolutely no assistance from local officials. Our hearts are heavy. I particularly am outraged. I feel that law enforcement wasted time during the most crucial hours. I need to know why there was so much focus put on the father when that energy could have been put into locating the whereabouts of Codi. It saddens me to know that the disappearance of a 4-year-old child is not as important as playing the blame game.”
WAVY will continue to follow this story closely. Look for updates on-air and online.