Jason Cole, 43, of Canton, tested positive for drugs, failed to provide the boy adequate amounts of food and kept him from school for three days, according to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.
Lt. Jay Baker, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, said the Sixes Elementary School student, who is doing fine, was found Tuesday morning after detectives located 19-year-old family friend Will Copes at a U-Haul business in Canton.
Copes told investigators he dropped off the boy, Elijah Cole, and his father at a location in Pickens County.
Baker said investigators immediately went to the undisclosed address and located Elijah and his father, who was transported to the South Annex in Woodstock, where he was questioned.
Cole, who lives in the BridgeMill subdivision with his son and mother, has additionally been charged with reckless conduct, possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana.
“Detectives determined through their investigation that Cole has been transporting his juvenile son from house to house staying in different locations since last Thursday,” Baker said.
Baker said Cole is suspected of being on a drug binge during the last several days.
“A search warrant for Cole’s blood and urine was obtained and the presumptive test indicated positive for marijuana and methamphetamine,” Baker said.
The son is in Department of Family and Child Services custody. Cole was in custody at the Cherokee Adult Detention Center with a $43,000 bond, Baker said.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office notified the public that Elijah was missing Monday afternoon after he had been absent from school since Thursday where he was picked up by Copes, an approved family friend, and asked for help in locating the boy.
Elijah, Copes and his father stayed at a friend’s home in Cherokee County Friday night, but had not been seen or heard from until Copes was located by investigators Tuesday.
Investigators were initially concerned because Elijah’s whereabouts could not be confirmed and they believed Cole was possibly off medication he needed.