BEND, OR (RNN) – An Oregon father was arrested on charges including child neglect and endangerment after deputies say he set his baby down in the forest and left him there while under the influence of drugs.
Deputies with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched Thursday morning in response to the report of a missing 1-year-old, according to a sheriff’s office press release.
Father Brandon Blouin, 25, told deputies he, an 18-year-old female and their 1-year-old son Bradley Thomas had been staying in a vehicle on forest land when the female walked away from the vehicle, leaving Bradley in Blouin’s care.
Blouin said he waited for a period of time for her to return and, when she didn’t, took Bradley with him to look for the woman.
During the search, Blouin set Bradley down in the forest and left him, deputies say.
The father is believed to have been under the influence of methamphetamine when he made the choice to set the baby down and walk away, Detective Doug Jackson told the Oregonian.
The sheriff’s office began a search for Bradley, who was found at about 12:00 p.m., six hours after he was reported missing. The boy was naked and lying face down in the dirt, according to Jackson.
A sheriff’s sergeant took off his jacket and wrapped Bradley up in it, the Oregonian reports.
"I don't think we could've gotten a much bigger win than this," Jackson told the Oregonian. "When you have a needle in a haystack situation like this, it could go a number of different ways. It was very much a team effort, and I'm just thankful that we found the kiddo."
We want to again thank all the people who shared our earlier post about missing one year old Bradley Thomas. He is now safe at the hospital and wrapped in one of our jackets symbolizing the level of safety and protection that now surrounds him. #ProudlyServing pic.twitter.com/6X5L0O3jZ2
— Deschutes Sheriff (@DeschutesSO) May 10, 2018
Deputies arrested Blouin on charges of criminal mistreatment, child neglect, endangering the welfare of a minor and assault. The assault charge stems from an injury officials believe Bradley suffered while in Blouin’s care.
The child’s mother is not facing any charges.
Bradley is currently under the care of the state Department of Human Services, Jackson told the Oregonian.
"He is doing incredibly well, considering what he's been through," Jackson said.
The boy has been eating and smiling, Jackson says, and the last time they saw each other, they played peek-a-boo.
Officials say the investigation is ongoing.
Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.