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Missing Georgia boy is found dead after weeklong search
Glynn County Police officer Shane Nolen guards the entrance to Canal Road where the body of missing six-year-old Christopher Michael Barrios was found in a black trash bag in Brunswick, Ga., Thursday, March 15, 2007. Four people have been arrested in connection with the disappearance of Barrios, who vanished a week ago while playing near his trailer-park home. - photo by Associated Press
    BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A 6-year-old boy who vanished a week ago while playing near his trailer-park home was found slain Thursday, and the police chief said a registered sex offender and three other suspects would probably be charged with murder.
    The partially concealed body of Christopher Michael Barrios was discovered by a state Department of Natural Resources game warden who was taking part in the search about three miles from the child’s home, said Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering.
    ‘‘We found him. He was not alive, unfortunately,’’ Doering said. ‘‘We will treat this as a homicide.’’
    Doering said it was obvious the child had been slain, but would not say how. He escorted the boy’s father, Mike Barrios, to the scene to see where Christopher was found Thursday afternoon, though Barrios did not view the body.
    ‘‘That was the hardest part,’’ Doering said. ‘‘When it’s your only son that has been killed and you want to go look for the last time, that’s tough.’’
    The body was found in a black trash bag among some trees and brush just 15 feet from a roadside behind the Glynn County Airport. The game warden, Cpl. Jesse Cook, said he and a co-worker stopped to investigate when they spotted tire marks on the asphalt where a car had pulled off the road. Once they got out to look, they found the bag containing the body in plain sight.
    ‘‘It was obvious,’’ Cook said. ‘‘But if you weren’t looking for it, you probably would’ve thought it was just a trash bag.’’
    Christopher was last seen the evening of March 8, playing alone on a swing set outside a friend’s house a few trailers down from where the boy lived with his father near Brunswick, a Georgia port city 60 miles south of Savannah.
    Earlier this week, police arrested four people — included a convicted child molester living nearby — who told a confusing and contradictory combination of stories that suggested Christopher was abducted, killed and buried, authorities said. But repeated searches of the spots where some of the suspects claimed to have buried the body turned up nothing, investigators said.
    Police arrested 32-year-old George David Edenfield on charges he violated his probation from a 1997 child molestation conviction, which prohibited him from contact with children under 18. Edenfield told police he played a role in the boy’s abduction.
    His parents, David and Peggy Edenfield, were also arrested after giving police conflicting statements on where they might find the boy. They were charged with lying to police and obstruction for initially telling police they knew nothing about the boy’s disappearance.
    The same charge was brought against a family friend, Donald Dale, who told investigators he helped David Edenfield bury the boy’s body.
    Doering said none of the tips from the suspects led to finding Christopher. After two days of fruitless searching in a patch of dense woods a quarter-mile from the trailer park, police expanded their search are Thursday and found the boy near the Glynn County Airport about three miles from the trailer park.
    The police chief declined to say how Christopher had been killed or how long the believe his body had been dumped near the roadside.
    The same charges have been brought against a fourth suspect, family friend Donald Dale. Police said he told them he helped bury the boy.
    Hundreds of volunteers turned out during the week to help search for Christopher, most of them people who had never met the boy or his family. About 60 of them, many wearing T-shirts printed with the boy’s photo, hugged and wept as Doering confirmed Christopher’s death to reporters.
    ‘‘You suspected all along in your heart, it’s just not the outcome you want,’’ said Mari Charnock, who had been coming to help search since Sunday. ‘‘At least we know, though. At least it’s over.’’

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