The parents of a badly abused boy abandoned at a rest stop near Boise on Wednesday have been arrested in Utah.
Edward Donald Tuinman, 29, and his wife, Debora Tuinman, 28, were taken into custody by the Utah Highway Patrol at about noon Saturday in Nephi. They were being held in the Juab County Jail on a felony warrant from Ada County, Idaho. The couple is from the Salt Lake area, UHP Trooper Steve Pelton said.The Tuinmans have been charged in Idaho with felony abandonment of a child, a Juab County deputy sheriff said. They were also being held on a separate warrant issued from Sandy, Utah, on charges of theft of services.
Pelton said they were being held on $1,000 bond each on the theft charge and $50,000 each on the abandonment counts.
The 7-year-old boy, referred to as "Johnny Doe" by medical personnel, had been badly abused and was found in only a T-shirt at the Black Canyon exit on I-84 east of Boise. His name has not been released.
"His life has been what you and I would call a living hell," said Dr. Thomas Cornwall, a Boise pediatrician who is in charge of the boy's care. The CAT scans of his brain were normal, but he appears to be developmentally delayed, said Rita Ryan, spokeswoman for St. Luke's Regional Medical Center in Boise.
Ada County detectives flew to Nephi Saturday to interview the family, Ada County Sheriff Vaughn Killeen said.
Earlier this week, authorities had only the description of a man with cowboy boots driving a white pickup who was seen at the rest stop. The Tuinmans reportedly were driving a 1974 Cadillac.
Another couple, reportedly relatives who were traveling with the Tuinmans in a separate car en route to Phoenix, remained in Nephi voluntarily Saturday, said the Juab deputy.
The Tuinmans reportedly were traveling with their 11-month-old boy, a 6-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl.
The family was stopped after Ada County issued an "attempt to locate" bulletin to neighboring states, Pelton said.
Johnny Doe was listed as medically stable on Saturday, Ryan said. His skin was healing after being bruised and burned.
Ryan said, "He's more social than before, quite a bit more social. . . . A nurse said he had a fistful of graham crackers." He has been mute since he was found, and Ryan was uncertain if he has uttered any words or sounds.