BAY MINETTE, Ala. (WALA) - Some of the relatives of missing Baldwin County mother Brittney Wood had appearances in court Wednesday, Jan. 16.
Wood has been missing since May 30, 2012. Since her disappearance, a number of her relatives have been charged with sex crimes.
There are a total of six suspects involved in this sex crimes investigation. Five are relatives of Brittney Wood and one is a family friend.
Dustin Kent, Derek Wood, Randall Scott Wood, Donald Holland, Jr. all face various sex crime charges. Wendy Wood Holland also made a court appearance for child endangerment charges.
This was an ongoing sex crimes investigation involving multiple victims.
Investigators said there is no proof these crimes are connected to Wood's disappearance, but the missing teen wasn't far from the mind of her mother while she sat in court.
Inside the Baldwin County Courthouse, two family members, Derek Wood and Wendy Holland, sat beside each other in jail jumpsuits.
They are just two of a number of family members involved in a shocking sex crimes investigation. Five family members and a family friend are all involved in a sex crimes case allegedly involving multiple juvenile victims.
One of the suspects, Wendy Holland, has been charged with child endangerment, while the five men face sex crime charges.
Baldwin County Assistant DA Teresa Heinz said, "Children can't defend themselves, neither can the elderly, neither can animals. I think because of these kinds of cases, those strike a chord with the community."
One key that ties all them together is missing teenager Brittney Wood, who vanished in May.
On Wednesday, a number of these suspects had court appearances. Brittney's brother, Derek Wood and her aunt, Wendy Holland, were both appointed attorneys.
We also learned Brittney's uncles- Randall Scott Wood and Dustin Kent, both waived their arraignments and pleaded not guilty.
Fox10 News confirmed through court documents that Brittney's cousin- Donald Holland, Junior, has filed for youthful offender status.
Brittney Wood's mother Chessie Wood was in court supporting her son Derek.
Chessie Wood said, "I'm just waiting for the trials. I believe a lot more information will come out during the trials."
But Wood is relentless in finding her daughter, and dealing with this second family crisis makes it difficult.
She said, "My daughter's missing. I wish my son could be out there helping me look for her. 'Cuz he has friends that I don't. They were very tight, he probably could take me to places I don't know about."
Chessie Wood says even from behind bars, Derek Wood is trying to get his mother in touch with friends who might know where Brittney could be.
In the meantime, Brittney's cousin, Donald Holland, Jr. has a court date set for April, and on Thursday, family friend William Brownlee will be in court.
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