HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The search continues for a missing 16-year-old who is believed to be with a former Forrest County teacher charged with sexual battery.
Oscar O'Neal III was reported missing by his mother and was last seen at his home around 1 a.m. Monday, according to Hattiesburg Police Department spokesman Ryan Moore.
Moore said Oscar is believed to be with Nicole Jackson, a former Forrest County teacher arrested on April 10 and charged with sexual battery by a person in a position of trust or authority.
Jackson was out on a $10,000 bond in the ongoing investigation, though she currently has an active warrant for her arrest by the Hattiesburg Police Department, according to Moore.
Oscar's family believe the two are on the run in what they are calling an apparent romance.
"He feels like he's in love and I know he's not in love," said Oscar's mother, Lisa O'Neal.
Lisa and Oscar's father, Oscar O'Neal Jr., are appalled at what they are calling a forbidden love affair between their 16-year-old son and the former teacher.
"Why would you choose my child? I feel like my child was a target. She robbed him from being a youth and a child," O'Neal Jr. said.
The last time the family saw Oscar was early Monday morning.
"I believe they are together," O'Neal Jr. said. "He left a letter on the bed saying he was leaving and pretty much moving on with her."
"When I opened the door I found it on his bed surrounded with his pictures, he put all these pictures of him and his daddy," Lisa said. "He wrote a good letter telling he loved us, we raised him right and it was nothing we did. It was his decision."
Around the same time Isaiah Jackson, Nicole Jackson's husband of four years, said he last saw his wife. The couple have two children together, though their mother is now wanted by law enforcement.
"The Nicole I know would never do this," Isaiah said.
Police believe Oscar and Nicole Jackson may be traveling in a dark blue Chevy Impala with Mississippi license place FRA-4454.
"When the truth comes out, and it will come out one way or the other, I believe justice will be served," Isaiah said. "If the allegations are true against my wife, I will support him [O'Neal Jr.] as much as possible."
Neither family has heard anything from the two, but police continue to investigate.
"Oscar, if you are looking at us and you are seeing us on TV, please come home, please. Just come to the house. You are killing your mom and your dad," O'Neal Jr. and Lisa added.
If you have any information on their whereabouts, contact Hattiesburg police or Metro Crime Stoppers at 601-582-7867.