Boise authorities continued their search Sunday for Robert Manwill, an 8-year-old Idaho boy who was reported missing from his mother’s house on Friday, July 24 at a little past 10 p.m. The boy had been visiting (his father, who does not live with Melissa Scott Jenkins, Robert Manwill’s mother, has physical custody) and was last seen around 9:30. Although there was no evidence of foul play, authorities haven’t ruled out the possibility that something untoward may have happened to Robert Manwill. But since Friday night the search has narrowed .
Robert Manwill Is Missing
According to the Idaho Statesman, police searched Melissa Scott Jenkins house Thursday evening. Law enforcement officials are remaining tight-lipped about the search and it is unknown if anything of value to the investigation was discovered.
Leads also took authorities to a another residence Friday and Boise State University officials contributed to the search, using ground-penetrating radar. Officials have reported that they have undisclosed evidence that Robert Manwill may have been injured or might have become the “victim of a tragic event.”
The Search For Robert Manwill Narrows
Boise police Deputy Chief Jim Kerns told the press Saturday, “Our leads are narrowing and becoming more specific. The Southdale residence became an area of interest due to a developing lead in the investigation – that location is one of many areas of interest.” Officials are still encouraging local residents to remain diligent and to help in the search where and if they can.
Deputy Chief Kerns said that in the 27 years he’s been with the Boise Police Department he has never seen a child go missing this long.
Melissa Scott Jenkins and her boyfriend, Daniel Ehrlick Jr., have not attended the investigation press conferences for the past two days. According to the Statesman, they are not answering their door or receiving phone calls. It is unknown if their sudden reclusiveness has anything to do with heightened interest into their respective pasts and/or the search of Melissa Scott Jenkins’ apartment Thursday. One family spokesman stated that, whether seen or unseen, the family is united in the search and hope of bringing Robert Manwill safely home.
Story of Robert Manwill’s Family Tragic
But court documents reveal that there is a history of tragic events that have befallen the family of Robert Manwill. In fact, Melissa Scott Jenkins is currently on probation for fracturing the skull of his younger half-brother. That child no longer lives with his mother, removed by the state.
Jenkins’ boyfriend, Daniel Ehrlick, Jr., has faced multiple charges over the years and spent time in prison. An April 2008 document mandates that Ehrlick never be left alone with Jenkins’ daughter but gives no specific reason why. Daniel Ehrlick and Melissa Scott Jenkins have an infant son together.
Robert Manwill’s father, Charles, lost a son when his wife stabbed the 4-year-old child in the chest in 1993. The wife served ten years in prison for voluntary manslaughter.
Law Enforcement Look For Patterns Of Abuse
Robert Manwill’s story is reflective of that of many missing children and it is why investigators are quick to look at parents, relatives, and friends in such cases. In the case of missing Haleigh Cummings, now missing for nearly six months, Putnam County (Florida) authorities were quick to zero in on her father, Ronald Cummings,’ past, which is littered with drug charges. Although no suspects have been named and no charges have been filed, much of the Haleigh Cummings case centers around what might have been an abusive environment, according to court documents and allegations made by Haleigh Cummings’ mother, Crystal Sheffield.
An endangering environment became the central theme in the Nevaeh Buchanan story as well in late May. By the time her body was found encased in on June 4, Monroe County (Michigan) officials had already arrested two acquaintances of Nevaeh’s mother, Jennifer, for parole violations (both were sex offenders). Nevaeh Buchanan’s mother had recently been released from jail herself, but it was her relationship with George Kennedy that worried authorities most. Although Kennedy is still held for violating his parole (he was not allowed to be within a certain distance of a child nor have a relationship with anyone who had a child), no charges have been filed with regard to Nevaeh Buchanan’s death.
The Current Robert Manwill Investigation
Police are asking Boise residents to ignore all rumors that are circulating regarding the case. They are urged to help if they can, to be on the lookout for a 50-pound 8-year-old boy that could be hiding anywhere. It is known that Robert Manwill was inquisitive and liked to explore, sometimes entering tight and narrow spaces.
Boise Police have taken in over 315 leads thus far.
It is believed that Robert Manwill was wearing a brown shirt with “Andy don’t need no Mic” on the back, or a blue shirt with a Superman symbol on the front when he was last seen. He was wearing blue jeans and black shoes. He is 4 feet 11 inches tall and has brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone having information regarding Robert Manwill and his whereabouts are being asked to call Ada County Dispatch at 377-6790.