HAMPTON, Va. — Ever since Codi Bigsby's father reported him missing on Jan. 31, members of the community have been involved in the search for the 4-year-old boy. Just like the police, they are committed to finding him.
Some people have expressed criticism of city leaders, asking where they have been as the community has been searching. Some of that criticism hit a heated level at the Hampton City Council meeting Wednesday night when speakers put the mayor and other council members on blast.
Early in the meeting, Police Chief Mark Talbot tried to bring city council members up to speed on the search for Codi. A bullhorn and a frenzy of shouting from people in the audience quickly disrupted Talbot's attempt.
“We were out here for nine days straight, want to sit up here and call somebody a distraction, this is what you call a distraction,” yelled an activist.
Once those activists were removed, Talbot assured council that the police division is doing everything it can to find Codi.
“We will leave no stone unturned; we haven’t stopped since day one,” Talbot said.
When speakers at the meeting asked council members why they aren’t searching for Codi, Councilman Steven Brown said his job is to support police.
“My role as a council member is to empower and to provide the resources for the professionals who are professional in this field,” Brown said.
Brown said the outburst at the council meeting pushed the envelope.
“It was more disappointing, and it took the spotlight off Codi and put the spotlight on the organization that was getting rowdy, and making the loudest noise,” Brown said.
Vice Mayor Jimmy Gray said Thursday his colleagues may have to rethink meeting procedures moving forward.
“We certainly don’t want to restrict anyone’s rights, but I think last night was a little bit over-the-top,” Gray said.
Brown and Gray said they are grateful to see so many people passing out flyers and sharing information in order to help find Codi.
“I am proud of my community, Brown said. “I am proud of all of those searching for the young man. Hopefully, however this chapter closes, there will be some closure. “
“That is Hampton,” Gray said. “I think that is indicative of the kind of community we are. All people are concerned regardless of what area, what neighborhood of the city folks live in.”
A few days after Codi's father, Cory Bigsby, reported his son missing, police arrested Bigsby on unrelated child neglect charges. A judge denied bond for Bigsby, and his lawyer immediately appealed the decision. Bigsby is supposed to have another bond hearing on Feb. 25.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin was in Hampton Roads Thursday. When asked about Codi's disappearance, he said, “What's most disappointing is we really don't have any clarity and I just call everyone to continue to provide every effort and resource we have because when a child goes missing it is the saddest thing we can possibly have."