CLEVELAND — The mother of a Liberty County toddler who has been missing since Tuesday has failed parts of a polygraph test, a law enforcement source close to the investigation said Friday.
April Davis, 27, who pleaded with the public to help find her son, took the polygraph test Thursday, said the source who did not want to be identified.
After FBI agents repeatedly questioned Davis about 2˝-year-old Devon, who disappeared while she was home alone with her children, she agreed to take a polygraph exam to verify her account.
Liberty County Sheriff's spokesman Rex Evans refused to discuss the test results, just as he has also declined to reveal what items have been collected as possible evidence.
A dozen specimens were taken from the ground outside the upstairs bedroom window where the children took their nap as well as other items from inside the two-story frame house east of Cleveland.
Lie detector tests are used primarily as an investigative tool, and the results are almost never allowed in criminal courts, regardless of whether a suspect passes or fails. Investigators use the test as a way to ask more questions, to glean more information.
The tests are used heavily to screen applicants for law enforcement jobs, military recruitment and sensitive federal careers.
Standing before a battery of cameras and news reporters for the first time Friday, Davis removed the dark glasses shading her tear-filled eyes as she talked about Devon.
"I know somebody out there must have seen something," Davis said Friday, as more than a hundred searchers ended their fourth day of combing the rugged Liberty County bottomland for her red-haired boy.
'He's a fighter'
She begged people to come forward and report anything that could lead them to Devon, whom she last saw Tuesday when she put him and his 1-year-old sister down for a nap.
After dozing off herself, she awoke some 20 minutes later to find him gone and the front door, which she'd bolted shut, left wide open.
Exasperated at not having any inkling as to his whereabouts, she said, "It's like he's been abducted by fricking aliens!"
Davis begged the searchers, who include Equu*Search volunteers and others, to not give up finding her son alive. "I should have lost Devon at birth when he was born premature. But he's a fighter," she said.
Family from Virginia
She described him as "the sweetest child," happy and friendly, a regular boy who loves playing with swords.
A week before Devon went missing, the Davis family moved here from Virginia. They are temporarily living in the home of an old U.S. Army buddy who helped Devon's father, Mike, obtain a job as a machinist.
Searchers have been looking for the boy in Liberty County's dense woods and murky bayous where alligators, wild hogs and poisonous snakes lurk. Officials shifted their search Thursday from rescuing the toddler to finding his body after officials said the chances of finding him appear slim.
Drone to be used
Evans said new high-tech equipment will be joining the search Saturday in addition to the helicopter equipped with infrared detectors, dogs, horses and four-wheelers.
"We're bringing in a drone," Evans said. "We think it can help by staying in the air longer and having video with real high resolution and other things I don't even know about."
In addition, authorities said they have questioned dozens of sex offenders living in the same ZIP code [...]