The man accused of abandoning his 1-year-old in a wooded area southeast of Bend was indicted Monday on six counts in Deschutes County Circuit Court.
Brandon Michael Blouin, 26, is now accused of being a felon in possession of body armor, in addition to the charges he faced last week: abandonment of a child, first-degree criminal mistreatment, first-degree custodial interference, second-degree child neglect and endangering the welfare of a minor.
His case has received significant attention since May 10, when authorities asked the public for help locating a 1-year-old child, identified as Bradley Michael Thomas, in a search that ranged over forestland southeast of Bend for six hours.
Bradley was located by sheriff’s detective Doug Jackson face-down on the ground, “not moving and warm to the touch,” according to sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. William Bailey.
The child was treated at the scene by paramedics and transferred to St. Charles Bend. He’s now in the care of the Oregon Department of Human Services.
On Monday, Blouin wore a red jail outfit and appeared in Judge A. Michael Adler’s courtroom by video link from the Deschutes County jail.
The court set June 11 for Blouin to enter a plea.
Blouin and Bradley’s mother, identified by police as Melissa Jordan, 18, were living in an SUV off China Hat Road. Jordan got out of the vehicle in the night, leaving Bradley in Blouin’s care, according to Bailey.
Blouin told deputies that when Jordan did not return he left with Bradley to find her. At some point he set the boy on the ground and walked off, according to police.
A homeowner in a rural area reported at 6:10 a.m. that Blouin walked onto his property. From there, a search involving up to 80 people from various agencies focused on an area near Sholes Road and Tekempe Road. The search team included a police drone, a helicopter and around 40 wildland firefighters who had been preparing to perform a prescribed burn nearby.
Blouin was able to assist searchers. He recalled leaving the boy near a fence post, according to Bailey. “We took him out in an effort to narrow down the search,” Bailey said.
Police weren’t sure how long Bradley was left unattended, but it was at least the six hours from when police were contacted until they found the child.
Blouin and the child’s mother are believed to have been under the influence of a controlled substance.
Authorities believe Blouin and Jordan took Bradley from his legal guardian, his maternal grandmother, who lives in West Virginia.
Police allegedly found body armor in the SUV. It’s illegal for Blouin to have body armor because he is a convicted felon, District Attorney John Hummel said.
Blouin is represented by Bend defense attorney Karla Nash. She was busy in another courtroom at the time Blouin’s name was called Monday and another attorney filled in.
— Reporter: 541-383-0325, email@example.com