SPRINGFIELD, N.J. — A 10-year-old “special needs” boy found alone in woods in New Jersey last week is in the care of state officials and his mother has been charged with child endangerment, authorities say.
New Jersey State Police on Tuesday said Debra Wisler, 39, of Millville was arrested Friday after being brought to the Bordentown state police station. She was released pending a hearing in Burlington County Superior Court.
State police said a passing motorist spotted the boy Thursday in a wooded area near the visitor’s center at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. The motorist contacted military personnel, who brought the boy to the visitor’s center.
The boy was given food, water and then evaluated by military first responders. He was determined to have minor injuries that weren't life-threatening.
State police say Wisler abandoned the boy after she found out he wasn’t eligible for a children’s program at the base.
State police said the boy told center employees his mother walked him into the woods with his luggage and left him there. He stated that he fell asleep and woke up hungry.
The boy was able to provide his mother’s name and phone number to employees, who then contacted Wisler.
State police detectives assumed custody of the boy and brought him to Bordentown Station. The Division of Child Protection and Permanency was contacted and they were able locate a temporary home for him.
Contributing: The Associated Press