“Jace is fine,” David wrote in a statement on Facebook shortly after the news broke on Tuesday, August 15. “He has been found, everyone needs to calm down! I was the first one looking for him so get off my case!”
According to the Brunswick Co. Sheriff’s Department, Jace was reported missing after he was last seen leaving school around 2:45 p.m. He was reported as a runaway thereafter. At the time, Jenelle’s son was reportedly wearing a gray sweatshirt, with the writing “Classical Charter Schools of America,” and was located hours later.
David doubled down on his claims against fans via his Instagram, slamming those who assumed “all kinds of s—t about Jace.”
“I’ve been out here running through the f—king woods for a half hour trying to find him. Yeah, I’ve been sitting in the air conditioning trying to cool ‘cause I almost had a f—king heat stroke trying to find this kid,” he said in a video clip, claiming that officers told him to “go home.” “I do all the f—king work around here. I take care of everything around here. If you think I don’t just ‘cause of what someone might tell you when they’re mad, you’re f—king wrong.”
He concluded his rant by calling out his mother-in-law, Barbara Evans. “She doesn’t know what the f—k she’s talking about,” he emphasized. “You can’t take Barbara’s word for it.”
Jenelle also spoke out following the news, noting the 14-year-old got in trouble at school. His phone was taken away from him, and he decided to run off, according to his mother.
“As a boy mom, kids can act up and rebel as I’m sure the majority of us all once did as kids too,” Jenelle said on August 15. “Jace is a good kid and we’re not dealing with anything that most families don’t deal with while raising children … This is a teenage boy being a teenager mad that we decided to take his phone away.”
Jace’s run-in with the law comes as the 16 & Pregnant alum – who shares son Jace with ex Andrew Lewis, son Kaiser with ex Nathan Griffith and daughter Ensley with husband David — found herself in a heated back-and-forth online battle with her husband, where she accused him of stealing and cheating on her.
The MTV alum did emphasize in her statement that Jace running away from home had “absolutely” nothing to do with “her situation with David.”
“David, we do not argue in front of our children or fight in front of our kids,” she continued in her statement. “This is a teenage boy being a teenager mad that we decided to take his phone away.”
Jenelle was previously granted full custody of Jace after a decades-long custody battle in March, after initially signing over her rights to her mom in 2010. Jenelle and her mom had a rocky relationship for more than a decade before they made the decision “together” to grant Jenelle full custody.
“We want to build our relationship back as mother and daughter,” the North Carolina native told Us Weekly at the time. “My mother agrees it’s time for Jace to be back with his siblings and living with a mother and father. She also thinks it’s important for Jace to be around a father figure to learn ‘boy things’ and have ‘men talk.’”
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