Crime West Coast

1-Year-Old Bradley Thomas Found Naked, Faced Down in Forrest After Father Allegedly Abandoned Him

Deschutes County, Oregon —

A detective in Oregon said he was in the right place at the right time last week when he found a baby who had been missing for hours in the woods.

According to a Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post, deputies were called to Bend 6 a.m. Thursday after a man came out of the woods and asked for law enforcement.

The man, identified as 25-year-old Brandon M. Blouin, told deputies that he and a woman had been staying in the wooded area with their 1-year-old son Bradley. The female walked off, and Blouin took the child with him to search for her. At some point during his search, Blouin set the baby down in the woods and walked away.

“Blouin is believed to have been under the influence of a controlled substance when he made the choice set him down and walk away,” deputies wrote.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office launched a massive search effort, utilizing ground and horseback searchers, as well as drones and helicopters with thermal image sensors.

More than six hours after he went missing, a detective assisting with the search found Bradley lying naked in the dirt.

Detective Doug Jackson told the Oregonian he and a sheriff’s sergeant came upon the child, who was lying face down, by following footprints left by the boy’s father. The boy was sleeping and covered in dirt and pine cones.

The pair sighed with relief after hearing the boy make noise while waking up. The baby was wrapped in a jacket and taken to paramedics.

“I don’t think we could’ve gotten a much bigger win than this,” said Jackson. “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.”

Both Blouin and the child’s mother reportedly appeared to be under the influence of methamphetamine.

Blouin was arrested on suspicion of first-degree criminal mistreatment, second-degree child neglect, third-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a minor. The assault charge stems from an injury the baby is believed to have suffered while in Blouin’s care. The child’s mother is not facing any charges.

Jackson said the boy is “doing incredibly well considering what he’s been through” and has been eating and smiling. The last time they saw each other, they played a game of peek-a-boo.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is collecting toys, clothes and blankets for Bradley.

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