Mom Ordered Into Drug Treatment After Toddler Found In Bushes Behind Supermarket

Missing Portland child found alive

The mother of a 2-year-old boy, who went missing in the middle of the night and was later found in a blackberry bush, has been ordered to receive drug treatment, KGW reports.

When 27-year-old Hollian Markusen of Portland, Oregon, went to check on her son, River Schomaker, 2, at her home in the 1700 block of Northeast 67th Avenue around 6 a.m. on Saturday, February 18, she realized that he was missing and immediately alerted police.

The boy was later found in a blackberry bush behind a supermarket, a block from his home, more than six hours after he went missing.

During a press conference, Portland police officer Daniel Tatro stated that when he grabbed the boy from the blackberry bushes, “he could see his left arm rising and falling with his breath and I think I even got on the radio and said he was breathing and crying, and that was great news, because that was the first time I had seen he was still alive.”

“I could see the blackberry bushes were intertwined around his legs, there was a thick vine that was stuck around his right shoulder.”

Police officials believe that River may have been outside for more than 11 hours as he appeared to be hypothermic and disoriented.

“River was initially crying there and as I lifted him out he just clung to me,” Tatro said. “You could tell he was very weak and cold to the touch. He just had on a long sleeve T-shirt that was soaking wet and a diaper.”

The toddler was transported to an area hospital and later released, but not into the custody of his parents. Police officials say they believe there was “an alleged drug problem” and River was sent to temporarily live in a foster home.

On Tuesday, February 21, while in court, a judge ordered the toddler’s mother to receive drug treatment, and stated that the boy will remain in protective custody pending an investigation.

Markusen and the boy’s father, 28-year-old Aaron Schomaker, were able to see their son on Wednesday for the first time since he was reported missing and later found in blackberry bushes.

“It’s harsh,” Schomaker said of the judge’s order. “Kids get out. He hadn’t been able to reach the front door handle before now. We have a lot of child proofing to do.”

Schomaker believes that his son was able to walk out of their home in the middle of the night without their knowledge through a “ground floor door.”

“I’m pretty beside myself. I’m devastated. I’m scared. My son was lost. My beautiful, 2-year-old boy who’ve I’ve never been away from for more than a couple of hours his entire life,” Markusen said in a phone interview.

“To think that he was running around in these bushes, just thank God he’s okay. My neighbor said he looked out the window about 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. in the morning and saw the little boy playing in between the two cars here, and then he took off up the street,” a neighbor, Shannon Kleflin, said.

“You don’t want to hear that the parents did something bad, but you also don’t want to hear them demonized in the event it was an accident,” said another neighbor, Dax Mayer.

Portland Police Sgt. Jeff Helfrich added that “this is a great reminder for all parents. Make sure you have child safety locks on your doors and if you have adventurous kids, make sure you take care of those.”

River is said to be doing well after disappearing in the middle of the night and being found hours later by police dogs in a blackberry bush behind a supermarket.

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