Ada County Sheriff’s deputies declared a 9-year-old boy who suffers from mental health issues to be in imminent danger earlier this summer after he kept leaving his home and tried to walk into other houses in his South Boise-area neighborhood.
Deputies arrested the boy’s mother, 33-year-old Danielle Bowen, July 17 for felony injury to child.
Deputies had been called to Bowen’s home in the Lake Hazel/Five Mile roads neighborhood earlier this year to investigate reports of the boy leaving home by himself, going to neighbors homes, and asking if he could play with their kids. Bowen told deputies that boy took things out of the homes he visits.
Officials with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and ACSO deputies worked with Bowen on a plan for how to keep the boy from walking out — which included alarms for windows and doors in the home.
Deputies were called back to the home June 29 when a neighbor got a visit from the boy. When she told him she did not have kids, the boy asked if he could come in anyway and watch movies.
That neighbor walked the boy home instead. After dropping him off, she watched the boy run away from his house and called Ada County dispatch.
Deputies searched the area for over an hour and had Ada County Dispatch put out a geo-cast phone message to the homes in the area with the boy’s description. A neighbor, who noticed the patrol cars in the area, walked up to deputies and asked if they were looking for the boy.
The neighbor said the boy was playing with his kids at his house.
Bowen did not help deputies during the search. When deputies talked to her after the boy was found, they determined that only one of the alarms for the doors and windows was working. The rest were disabled or removed.
The boy was declared to be in imminent danger because of the frequency of the incidents and Bowen’s inability to control his behavior. He was then put in the custody of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
An arrest warrant was issued July 11 and Bowen turned herself in at the Ada County Jail July 17, where she was released after posting a $10,000 bond.
Bowen has a preliminary hearing set for Aug. 12. The crime of felony injury to child is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.