Jenelle was 17 years old when she gave birth to her eldest son in August 2009, which was captured by cameras on her 2010 episode of 16 and Pregnant. (Jace’s dad and Jenelle’s then-boyfriend, Andrew Lewis, is not involved in Jace’s life.)
Not long after welcoming her firstborn, Jenelle signed custody of Jace over to her mom, Barbara Evans, who cared for him until March 2023, when Us Weekly broke the news that Jenelle was granted custody of the teen. (In addition to Jace, Jenelle is also mom of son Kaiser, whom she shares with ex Nathan Griffith, and daughter Ensley, whom she shares with husband David Eason. (Jenelle and Eason have had a notoriously tumultuous relationship since tying the knot in 2017.)
Five months after being awarded custody of Jace, Jenelle’s relationship with her eldest made headlines after he ran away twice in August 2023. Both times, Jace was ultimately found safe after missing for hours at a time.
Keep scrolling to see Jenelle and Jace’s ups and downs over the years:
Jace’s Birth (August 2009)
Jenelle became a mom for the first time when she gave birth to Jace on August 2, 2009. The moment was documented on the second season of 16 and Pregnant, which aired the following year.
Giving Custody to Barbara (2010)
MTV viewers watched as Jenelle gave custody of Jace to mom Barbara in 2010, realizing she was partying too much to fully take care of her child herself.
Jace Walks Jenelle Down the Aisle (June 2017)
Though Barbara was not invited to Jenelle’s wedding to Eason, Jace’s grandmother still let him attend their nuptials — where Jace walked his mom down the aisle.
Jenelle Pulls a Gun in a Road Rage Incident — With Jace in the Car (July 2018)
On a 2018 episode of Teen Mom 2, Jenelle — who was fired from the show the following year — was involved in a road rage incident with a driver who had been tailgating her. She seemingly pulled out a handgun in the driver’s seat with Jace next to her, before following the man to his home.
Jace reiterated the situation to Barbara, telling her the driver “slammed into us. And then Mommy just points a gun at the guy and then he said, ‘You better not f–king shoot.’”
Jenelle, meanwhile, disputed her son’s version of events. “No, I didn’t, Jace. Why are you telling her I pulled a gun out on him? I did not do that,” she said.
Jenelle Granted Custody (March 2023)
After more than a decade of feuding over custody of Jace, Us broke the news that Barbara and Jenelle came to an agreement: Jenelle would care for Jace full time.
“My mom and I decided together to grant full custody back to me because we want to build our relationship back as mother and daughter,” Jenelle exclusively told Us at the time. “Also, my mother agrees it’s time for Jace to be back with his siblings and living with a mother and father. She also thinks it’s important for Jace to be around a father figure to learn ‘boy things’ and have ‘men talk.’ She has seen the way David parents my children and she knows we’re able to handle it.”
Jace Runs Away Multiple Times (August 2023)
Five months after Jenelle was awarded custody of her eldest son, Jace ran away twice in one month.
On August 14, Jace was reported as a runaway after leaving school. He was found hours later.
At the time, Jenelle told Us that she and Eason were “not dealing with anything that most families don’t deal with while raising children.”
In the statement, Jenelle noted that Jace’s disappearance had “absolutely nothing to do with my situation with [my husband] David [Eason], we do not argue in front of our children or fight in front of our kids. This is a teenage boy being a teenager mad that we decided to take his phone away.” (Jenelle and Eason’s stormy relationship has made headlines for years, including social media spats, alleged violence and more. Jenelle was fired from Teen Mom 2 shortly after Eason shot and killed their dog, which caused the couple to temporarily lose custody of Kaiser and Ensley.)
Just over a week after Jace’s initial disappearance, Jenelle called police after Jace went missing on their North Carolina property. He was found at a gas station hours later.
“Jace was out roaming the property like he usually does. He went off to the gas station, without telling Jenelle,” Jenelle’s manager, August Keen, told Us. “Nothing to be alarmed about. Jace is a teenager finding his independence, wanting a bit more freedom, and Jenelle is a momma bear.”
Jenelle, for her part, took to TikTok in the aftermath of Jace’s disappearances to elaborate on the situation.
“A lot of my son’s actions [are] being pinned against me and I’m getting a lot of hate, a lot of comments,” she said. “My son has been having a hard time for the past two, three years. None of this has gone public because we’re trying to keep his privacy.”
Jace Accuses David of Abuse (September 2023)
Jace ran away for a third time in September 2023. When attempting to locate the teen — who was found the next day and was reportedly taken to the hospital — police contacted Barbara, who told the authorities that Jace claimed he ran away due to alleged abuse from Eason.
“[Barbara] advised that she had spoken to [Jace] earlier in the evening when he called from an unknown number and told her about being assaulted by David Eason and that he ran away and was hiding,” the police report stated.
Jenelle claimed via X (formerly Twitter) that her eldest son’s latest disappearance “isn’t about David whether you want to blame him or not” and accused her mom of lying to police.