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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Robert Manwill, 8: Missing from Boise, Idaho

Search continues for missing Idaho boy
by The Associated Press
Monday July 27, 2009
National Cener for Missing & Exploited ChildrenRobert Manwill

BOISE -- An 8-year-old boy from Boise has been missing since Friday, and the FBI has joined in the search.

Boise police say Robert Manwill went missing about 9:30 p.m. Friday in southwestern Boise and that he may have been headed to a party at a friend's house when he disappeared.

About 20 FBI agents and dozens of residents joined the search over the weekend, and many more residents joined Monday.

Deputy Chief Jim Kerns said Monday investigators have fielded about 50 leads. He also says there is no reason to believe the boy is not safe.

On Sunday, Kerns pleaded with the public for help finding Robert, who is described as 4 feet, 2 inches tall, about 50 pounds, and wearing blue jeans, black shoes, and either a brown shirt with the words, "Andy don't need no Mic" or a blue shirt with a superman symbol on the front.
-- The Associated Press

Katherine Jones/Idaho Statesman--Boise Deputy Police Chief Jim Kerns speaks at a press conference Monday morning, issuing a renewed call for the public's help to find missing 8-year-old Robert Manwill, who disappeared Friday evening from an apartment complex near the intersection of Vista Boulevard and Cherry Lane in Boise.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman--Teams of volunteers join with Boise police Monday in searching for Robert Manwill, missing since Friday night in the area of South Vista in Boise..."The family has said that he likes to sneak around and crawl in little places. He's an inquisitive little kid," said police spokeswoman Lynn Hightower.

Robert lives with his father in New Plymouth, but was visiting his mother and her family Friday, police said.

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Initial reports indicated the boy was last seen at an apartment playground sometime between 7 and 9 p.m., but police officials could not say Tuesday whether that was accurate. The family reported the boy missing at 10:11 p.m., police said.

Robert Manwill is about 4 feet 2 inches tall, about 50 pounds, with dark brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen in a faded blue Superman T-shirt, blue jeans and tennis shoes.

On the fifth day of an exhaustive search for a missing Boise boy, court documents revealed a family tale of abuse, tragedy and more.

Robert Manwill's mother is on probation for fracturing the skull of Robert's infant half brother, a boy the state removed from her custody.

Robert's mother's boyfriend has been convicted of burglary, battery and possession of drug paraphernalia, and is banned by the courts from being alone with Robert's half sister.

Robert's father, meanwhile, has already lost a son. In 1993, his first wife stabbed their 4-year-old boy in the chest. She spent 10 years in a federal prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

Police have repeatedly said they have no suspect - or even evidence to believe there is one - in Robert's Friday night disappearance at the mother's Boise Bench apartment, and have no evidence of any foul play.

"We've had questions from the media ..." Boise police Deputy Chief Jim Kerns said Tuesday. "Specifics and details of this very active priority investigation cannot be released."

Here's what the court records say:
ROBERT'S MOM--Melissa Scott Jenkins pleaded guilty in March to a misdemeanor charge of injury to a child, after an October 2008 incident that left her infant son with a fractured skull.

According to court records, Jenkins "did willfully inflict" the wound "by striking the child's head on a surface, causing a fracture to the child's skull," on Oct. 19, 2008. She was sentenced to 29 days of work release, fined $75.50 and put on probation for two years.

In February, at least, the child was still in the care of the state Department of Health and Welfare, court documents said.

"We are a joined family at this time in this crisis," Burrill said. "We are acting as one, with one goal in mind. To bring Robert back."

HER BOYFRIEND--Daniel Edward Ehrlick - Jenkins' boyfriend and the father of her infant son - has served time in Idaho prisons and faced multiple charges.

An April 2008 court document outlining Jenkins' visitation rights with her 2 1/2-year-old daughter states that the girl shall never be left "alone with Danny Ehrlick." The document does not say why.

ROBERT'S DAD--Robert Manwill's father, Charles Manwill, has had custody of the boy since January 2008, according to court records.

The records show Jenkins was admitted to the hospital that month for early pregnancy complications and was unable to care for Robert, who has lived with his dad in New Plymouth ever since. Jenkins has visitation rights, and the boy was visiting her the night he disappeared.

Almost 15 years earlier, Manwill was an officer at Fort Polk Military Base in Louisiana, in his early 20s and married to a woman named Silke Fatma Manwill. In November 1993, according to federal court documents and Louisiana newspaper reports, Silke Manwill "upon sudden quarrel and in the heat of passion" stabbed their 4-year-old son, Michael, in the chest.

She served 10 years in federal prison and was released in 2002, federal documents show. Her sentence included five more years of supervised release.

UPDATE: FBI now involved in search for missing 8-year-old boy
Monday, July 27, 2009

BOISE -- We're now more than 48 hours into the search for Robert Manwill.
Police say they've received some information, but nothing that has led to Manwill.

Police asking for any information regarding boy. After two days of searching the biggest question is still out there - what happened to Robert? So far the answer from everyone is ‘we have no idea.’

"At this point, we don't know where Robert is. We're trying to determine what has happened, and we're pleading with the public for their assistance in locating Robert Manwill," said Deputy Chief Jim Kerns with the Boise Police Dept.

Robert Manwill
4' 2" tall
50 Lbs.
Last seen wearing jeans, black shoes, either a brown or blue shirt
Call 570-6457 with info

In addition to the public's help, the FBI is now involved. 20 FBI agents are in the area, and more could be on the way at a moment’s notice to help find Manwill.

"It's tough. It really is tough, this is very difficult to go through as a family," said Trish Burrill, who is Robert's aunt.

Now, searchers are looking everywhere.

"Go out, look in your sheds, your garages, hiding places, abandoned cars, any place where a young child might hide," Kerns said.

That search included draining a 12 foot deep pond in the middle of Manwill's apartment complex.
Over 100 people roamed neighborhoods looking for anything and everything that might point investigators in the right direction.

"This kid, we thought he was at the park yesterday with us, well not with us with us. Which park? Ann Morrison," said some teenage girls.

Police aren't saying whether this information put them any closer to finding Manwill.
But they do say they won't stop until he's found and neither will Manwill's family.

"I don't recall a time where I've seen this much community support in Boise come out for a search,” said Lt. Doug Shoenborn. “It's really been nice to see a lot of support from the local community.”

"I will search until I find him. No matter what. I will search until I find him. Until he comes home," Burrill said.

Family members of missing boy have criminal histories.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BOISE -- The search in Boise for a missing 8-year-old boy continues to expand. Robert Manwill lives with his father in New Plymouth most of the year but is spending the summer with his mother in Boise.

While we have seen Robert's mother and her boyfriend at many of the news conferences, we know very little about them. Many of the adults in Robert's life have a criminal history.

But court records obtained by NewsChannel 7 say Robert's mother, Melissa Scott Jenkins, was charged with felony injury to a child in October 2008. She later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. The documents say Jenkins hit her 9-month-old son's head on a surface.

Robert Manwill--The infant suffered a fractured skull that caused not only physical pain, but mental suffering as well. The mother's boyfriend, Daniel Edward Ehrlick, is the father of the infant. Ehrlick has a criminal history including burglary and has served time in prison.

According to sealed documents obtained by the Idaho Statesman, during a visitation hearing for Jenkins' two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Jenkins stated she did not want her boyfriend, Ehrlick alone with her daugther. The reason she said that was not stated.

There is discussion and debate on whether this information is relevant since police have not charged anyone with a crime at this time. Family members have been attending daily news conferences assisting police in the search.

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