BRUNSWICK, Ga. – The father of the prime suspect in the disappearance of a 6-year-old boy "confessed to burying" the child with the help of a friend, but all that a daylong high-tech search for a body produced were charges that the two men and the suspect's mother had led police on a wild goose chase.
Glynn County police arrested David Edenfield, father of George Edenfield, 32, a convicted sex offender who was taken into custody on unrelated charges of violating his parole, which requires him to register properly as a sex offender and prohibits contact with anyone under 18 years of age, Police Capt. Jim Nazzrie told FOXNews.com.
George Edenfield is a suspect in the investigation of the disappearance of 6-year-old Christopher Michael Barrios, Nazzrie confirmed. Barrios vanished last Thursday night near his home in Brunswick, Ga.
Nazzrie said George Edenfield had been a "person of concern" until Wednesday.
Also arrested was Donald Dale, described as an Edenfield family friend. George Edenfield's mother, Peggy, was taken into custody on Monday.
David and Peggy Edenfield and Dale were charged with "concealing the death of another person," a charge based on false statements to police, Nazzrie said.
"All that is under state law, if you told me you buried a body and you took me out there and you couldn’t produce the body ... then we charge you with that because you say you have knowledge of it," Nazzrie said. "It probably won't hold up in court but it's still a charge."
The Edenfields and Dale, considered "people of interest" by police, also were charged with obstruction of justice and making false statements to investigators searching for the little boy.
"The father and his friend basically confessed to burying little Christopher," Nazzrie told FOX News. "They took us to the area, several areas … for some reason they want to lie about it, they can’t remember where they buried the body, or if they did bury the boy," he said.
"[George Edenfield] actually said that he had hurt the boy and his momma and then had moved the boy," Nazzrie said. However, police have "no reason to believe [Christopher] is dead," he added.
The obstruction charges carry a bond of only $235.50 per person, while the giving false statements charges carry a bond of $1,104 per person. No bond was set for the "concealing the death of another person" charges, or for George Edenfield's parole violation.
Christopher Barrios was last seen last Thursday night walking on a road not far from the homes of his father and grandmother, who live in a mobile home park about a half-mile from Interstate 95 just outside the port city of Brunswick on the Georgia coast.
The missing boy's parents have been "very cooperative," police say, and have allowed law enforcement to search their home and question them. Police say they don't feel any family members are involved.
The boy's grandmother, Sue Rodriguez, speaking with FOX News on Wednesday, said there was no bad blood between the Edenfield family and the Barrios family, however, she's never even spoken to them, even though they live directly across the street from her.
"From what I've seen, the man just sits on the porch and watches all the kids out here," she said of George Edenfield.
Asked whether she's hopeful about finding her grandson alive, Rodriguez replied: "I am very hopeful that they're going to find this baby, my baby, bring him home. My hopes of him coming home alive are about gone, but I just want him brought back."
Rodriguez told FOX News that Edenfield had tried to talk to Christopher before.
"We told him 'don't go near that man, he'll hurt you, stay away from him,'" she said.
Frustrated police were led on a wild goose chase Tuesday on information provided by George Edenfield and his mother, who gave police conflicting stories about where the child could be found. Peggy Edenfield also told police she thought the boy was still alive.
Police, acting on the information, organized the search of a nearby field Tuesday with 200 volunteers, helicopters with infrared technology, cadaver dogs and all-terrain vehicles until well after midnight, but were unable to locate the boy, Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering said.
"We have spent all day going back over five square miles," Nazzrie said. "The only information we've got from anyone out there has not panned out to be true. That's why we have the subject in custody, for hindering an investigation. They're not charged with a crime or a criminal act against Christopher, but it's one of these things, 'well I can show you where the body's at.' Well, it's not here."
"We have talked to [George Edenfield] and that's what led us to talk to his mother and that's what's led us on a wild goose chase," Nazzrie said.
Police searched Edenfield's mobile home Monday night after his mother told investigators the boy may still be alive, Doering said. Police found a piece of evidence related to Christopher's disappearance at the trailer, but Doering would not say what it was.
Doering expressed similar frustration after spending the day acting on information provided by Edenfield.
"He's made four, five or six different statements, all conflicting," Doering said. "If we didn't think there was some credence to it all, we wouldn't be here. How much? I don't know."
Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents are helping local authorities in the search.
"They're assisting us in running down certain information we can't get as quickly — criminal histories and stuff of that nature," Nazzrie said. "They're not conducting an investigation separate from us."
A reward of $31,500 has been offered for Christopher's safe return.
He is described as Hispanic/black, about 3 feet, 6 inches tall and weighing about 60 to 70 pounds. He was last seen wearing a long-sleeve blue or green shirt, black pants and white Reebok Velcro shoes with a blue stripe.
Anybody with information is asked to call the Glynn County Police Department Criminal Investigation Division at 912-554-7802.
FOXNews.com's Liza Porteus reported and wrote this story. FOX News' David Lewkowict and The Associated Press contributed to the report.