Son Stumbles Out of the Woods 24 Hours After Father Abandons Him

October 26, 2017 Updated: October 26, 2017

Mississippi authorities are searching for a father who is accused of abandoning his son in a wooded area for more than a day.

Richard Dearman, 32, left his 5-year-old boy after telling him to stay by a tree until he returned. But he never did.

According to Wayne County Sheriff Jody Ashley, the incident took place Oct. 18. They found his truck at the location.

“He told him he thought the law was behind him,” Ashley said in a release, referring to what Dearman told his son. “They would turn down a dirt road, they would get out the vehicle way in the woods in a wooded area. He would tell him to stand by a tree and wait and he would be back to get him.”

Dearman hasn’t been caught yet, and deputies are “actively searching” for him, the release added.

“The young boy walked out of the woods,” Ashley said of the child. “He said he heard a dog barking and walked to a house.”

The boy had minor injuries after being in the woods all night.

“It makes you mad he would do something like this,” Ashley said. “There are a lot of things that could have happened to this child in the woods. I don’t know a history of drug arrests with this man or not, we are checking everything, but we are cutting warrants for him now.”

Dearman was last seen wearing a white t-shirt with red and black gym shorts. He’s about 5’4 and is from Greene County.