Authorities in Minnesota said a couple dropped off their 5-year-old boy in the woods as a form of punishment for wetting his pants, The Star Tribune reported.
The boy was found crying and wet from the rain on the side of a highway in Nicollet County, the report said. He later told law enforcement that he was “naughty” and didn’t know where his parents were, the report said.
Gregory A Wilson, 32, and Lynda R. Michel, 42, were charged Friday. The boy is Wilson’s biological son, the report said. Wilson was hit with neglect of a child and malicious punishment of a child, which are considered gross misdemeanors. Michel was hit with gross misdemeanor neglect.
The couple was searching for the boy but reportedly did not report him missing.
The paper, citing the charges, reported that the couple said the boy urinated on himself and they drove to an isolated location and told him to exit the vehicle. They reportedly said they drove off a short distance and when they returned, he was gone. They reportedly said they were searching for about 15 minutes.
A couple who lived on the hill reportedly heard yelling in a search, saying, “you’re not in trouble.”
According to investigators, officers found “multiple black and blue and red bruises” on the boy’s back, buttocks and hips, indicating they had been caused over time, and Wilson told investigators that he regularly spanked the boy with an open hand. Wilson also faces charges of gross misdemeanor malicious punishment of a child and misdemeanor domestic assault.
The child was taken into protective custody and is currently in foster care, according to court documents that don’t list an attorney for either Michel or Wilson.
The Associated Press contributed to this report