Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Father, Child Reunited Boy Found in Louisiana after Nearly a Year

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Father, Child Reunited Boy Found in Louisiana after Nearly a Year

Article excerpt

Terry David Lacoss of Yulee said he felt "like the whole world

was lifted off my shoulders" last week when he was reunited with

his 6-year-old son after a year of not knowing the boy's

whereabouts.

"My heart was turning over as we drove to Louisiana because we

had come so close in finding him before but it hadn't happened,"

he said. "Until I actually saw him, that's when I felt

relieved."

Police said David Lee Lacoss' mother violated Florida law by

hiding the boy from his father since last October.

Terry Lacoss and Jessica Davis never married. Lacoss said the

two had worked out an informal custody agreement, which he said

made it difficult to receive assistance from police and courts

when he couldn't find his son.

On Friday, the boy and his father were reunited in Wisner, La.

Lacoss was awarded temporary custody of the child last week.

The family said some of the "dramatic" details of David Lee's

year away from his father have come to light from therapy and

family discussions.

"He doesn't talk about . . . what happened to him unless you

ask him about it," said Lacoss.

"He was living in horrible conditions," he said. "It has been a

nightmare listening to what he has been through."

Police reports echo concerns about the care the boy was

receiving.

"[David Lee] described where he slept . . . on the floor or the

couch in the living room," police reports said. "The child also

described being whipped with a cord by his mother's boyfriend

when he was bad."

Lacoss said he still he cannot understand why he and his son

were separated.

"We had a verbal agreement that he would spend weeknights with

his mother and the weekends with me," Lacoss said yesterday.

"But David started saying [in October] he didn't want to go back

at the end of the weekend and that he wanted me to take him to

school."

Lacoss said he took his son to Yulee Primary School on Oct. 7

and told teachers he'd pick David Lee up himself. That morning

was the last time Lacoss saw his son for nearly a year.

David Lee's maternal aunt picked him up from school early that

day, before Lacoss could arrive, police said. …

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