Sheriff: Father abandoned 5-year-old son in woods and fled

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) – Authorities are searching for a Mississippi man accused of abandoning his 5-year-old son in the woods.

Wayne County Sheriff Jody Ashley said they’re searching for 32-year-old Richard Dearman. The sheriff says Dearman told his son they had to hide last Wednesday because “the law was behind him,” and told him to stand by a tree until he returned.

Authorities say the child woke up cold and alone 24 hours later, and eventually walked out of the woods, following the sound of a barking dog at a house where he found help. The sheriff said Monday that the boy had minor cuts, but is OK.

Once found, Dearman faces charges including child endangerment. It’s unclear if he has a lawyer.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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