Missing 1-Year-Old Found Safe After Abandoned Naked by Dad in Oregon Woods
BEND, OR — After a one-year-old toddler was reported missing on Thursday, police found him several hours later in a wooded area. He was discovered naked in a pile of dirt — thankfully, unharmed. Officers then arrested the baby's father for leaving his son alone.
According to a Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office press release, searchers located one-year-old Bradley Thomas in a forest in a southeast corner of Bend, Oregon, following a six-hour search.
Police subsequently arrested the boy’s dad — Brandon M. Blouin, 25, of Belpre, Ohio. Authorities believe Blouin was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time.
Allegedly, Blouin and the baby’s unidentified, 18-year-old mother were staying in an SUV parked in the forest. Police said that the mom wandered off early Thursday morning, and Blouin took Bradley to go look for her.
At some point, police say, Blouin put the baby down and lost track of him. Blouin then emerged from the woods and asked a local resident to call the cops.
The Sheriff's Office utilized helicopters, drones, and officers on horseback to look for Bradley. The baby turned up about a mile away from his father’s vehicle.
Detective Doug Jackson said he was one of a team of about 50 searchers scouring the area when he came across Bradley, face-down and asleep atop a mound of dirt and pinecones.
Jackson expressed relief that Bradley didn’t appear injured. He said he wrapped the baby in his jacket for warmth and that Bradley "grunted" a bit as he was waking up. Jackson also told reporters:
"I don't think we could've gotten a much bigger win than this. When you have a needle in a haystack situation like this, it could go a number of a different ways. It was very much a team effort, and I'm just thankful that we found the kiddo."
Doug Jackson is an 18-year veteran of the local police force. He’s been a detective for just over one year.
Brandon Blouin has been charged with suspicion of first-degree criminal mistreatment, second-degree child neglect, third-degree assault, and endangering the welfare of a minor.
Police located Bradley's mother, who they believe was also on meth. She turned up on another person's property around 5:30 A.M. She does not face any charges at this time.
Bradley is under the care of the Oregon Department of Human Services. Jackson has checked in on him several times and said, "He is doing incredibly well considering what he’s been through."