A mom from Millville, New Jersey, is accused of abandoning her 10-year-old son with special needs in the woods all by himself.
According to New Jersey State Police a passing motorist by chance spotted the boy on Thursday, Aug. 3, in a wooded area near the visitor center at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, CBS News reported.
The 39-year-old mom is identified as Debra Wisler, she lives in the Millville Township. Her son suffered only minor injuries from the incident.
State authorities said Wisler abandoned her son when she found out he was not eligible for a child’s program at the military base, according to CBS News.
A Facebook post by the New Jersey State Police said that on Friday, Aug. 4, Wisler talked with troopers at Bordentown station where detectives determined the reason she abandoned her son.
Police said the motorist got in contact with military personnel who brought the young boy to the visitor center where he was taken care of with food, water, and got evaluated by military first responders.
The boy then told visitor-center staff that his mom walked him to the woods with his luggage and just left him there all alone. He said he eventually fell asleep in the woods and woke up feeling hungry. The boy provided staff his mother’s name and phone number.
Officials then said they located his mother when he gave them her name, according to Fox News.
Wisler was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and arrested. She was released later pending a court date.
His kindergarten and first-grade teacher’s aide, Barabara Todd told CBS she was shocked at what Wisler allegedly did.
“He was her life, and I just can’t believe it,” said Todd. “She got him involved in anything that she could, and all services are available to him and her … I can’t even talk, I’m just still so shocked.”
The Division of Child Protection and Permanency located a temporary home for the boy.
On Tuesday Aug. 8, KYW-TV tried to interview Wisler at her residence, but she refused to say anything.
At this stage, the police department stresses that the charges are just accusations as of writing and the suspect is considered innocent until proven guilty.