Officials say a 5-year-old Salt Lake boy helped investigators determine the identity of "Johnny Doe" - the 7-year-old boy allegedly abandoned at a rest stop near Boise last Wednesday.
Jeremy Maddera, son of Debbie Maddera, Salt Lake City, recognized the boy as "Eddie" after seeing him on a TV news program on Jan. 6. That identification led authorities to arrest Edward Tuinman Jr.'s parents - Edward Donald Tuinman, 29, and Deborah Tuinman, 28, of Salt Lake. Both were arrested in Nephi Saturday night on a warrant from Ada County, Idaho, charging them with felony abandonment of a child.The couple is currently in the Salt Lake County Jail awaiting extradition to Idaho.
Jeremy told the Deseret News he was watching TV with his mother when he saw the boy on the news and recognized him because he had played with him before. A relative of the Tuinmans used to live next door, Maddera said. "They (Tuinmans) were over there all of the time."
"I said, `That's him.' I told her that was Eddie," Jeremy said. His mother said she then called the sheriff's office in Boise with the information.
Eddie was found Wednesday alone at a rest stop on I-84 near Boise wearing only a T-shirt and suffering from bruises and burn marks. He was taken to a Boise hospital and was treated for exposure and malnutrition. Doctors said he appears to be developmentally delayed.
Charges were filed Monday in 3rd Circuit Court in Salt Lake against the Tuinmans, charging them with being fugitives from justice from the state of Idaho. A felony warrant from Ada County had been issued for the couple charging them with desertion of child.
Besides the fugitive warrants out of Idaho, the couple is being held in the Salt Lake County Jail on local felony warrants out of Sandy for theft of services. The allegations accuse the couple of illegally taking natural gas from Mountain Fuel Supply between last April and June. They failed to appear at a Sept. 1 preliminary hearing in 3rd Circuit Court in Sandy, and a $1,000 arrest warrant was issued.
Officials said Eddie has been released from the hospital and has been turned over to a foster family. His three brothers and sisters have been taken into protective custody by the Utah Social Services Division.