Columbia S.C., Police Dept., Associated Press
In this Nov. 25, 2011 photo provided by the Columbia S.C., Police Dept., 18-month-old Amir Jennings is shown near Columbia, S.C. Investigators might have had no leads on a missing mother and child if the woman hadn't crashed her car on Christmas Eve. But even after questioning Zinah Jennings in custody, police don't know what's happened to her son. She is now in jail, charged with lying to authorities about where the boy is, prompting a search by local, state and federal authorities spanning the Carolinas, Georgia and beyond.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The mother of an 18-month-old South Carolina boy missing for more than a month initially told investigators she didn't have a son when they questioned her.

Arrest warrants provided to The Associated Press show that 22-year-old Zinah (ZEE-nah) Jennings first told police last month she had no children before saying her son, Amir, was in Atlanta. Jennings also took investigators to a Columbia apartment complex where she said she dropped off her son later saying she didn't know the apartment number or location within the complex.

Jennings' mother says she hasn't seen Amir since Thanksgiving.

Jennings is charged with unlawful conduct toward a child after police say she told inconsistent stories about Amir's whereabouts.

Police said Thursday they had used cadaver dogs to search the family's home.