The boy who was found hidden behind a fake wall in his father's house Friday engineered his own escape after enduring years of mistreatment, police say.

Gregory Jean Jr.'s mother reported him missing to child services in 2010 when his father failed to return him to her home in Florida, but apparently never filed a police report. The 13-year-old reportedly set things in motion earlier in November, when he managed to Facebook friend request his mom by connecting a cell phone with no service provider to a wifi network. Then he downloaded an app that allowed him to make calls via wifi and began planning his escape with his mom and sister.

"This is my mama's Christmas gift—my whole family—this is their Christmas gift," he told WESH.