Friday, February 22, 2013

Hikers Charged With Child Abuse

Wow, what can you say about this one? This is almost beyond incredulity. I saw this story on NPS Digest this morning:

In October 2012 a couple attempted to hike with their eight-month-old daughter from the rim of the Grand Canyon, down to the Colorado River, and back to the top of the rim - in one day – a hike strongly discouraged by the NPS. They were unprepared for the hike and resorted to eating the baby’s food along the way. On the hike out of the canyon they could no longer carry the baby due to exhaustion, so gave the child to another hiker - who was a stranger but had offered to help. When the hiker reached the South Rim – without the family – he immediately went to the Bright Angel Lodge and requested law enforcement assistance.

Upon reaching the rim, the family of three flagged down a shuttle bus and reported that their baby had been kidnapped. Rangers responded and called for assistance from the Investigative Services Branch. A joint investigation was conducted by rangers from the South Rim and Canyon Districts, ISB agents, and personnel from Arizona Child Protective Services. The baby was placed in the protective care of CPS and each parent was charged with a felony count of child abuse, and recklessly placing a child in a position where its health was endangered.

Both parents ultimately pled guilty in court to Arizona Revised Statute 13-3619, permitting life, health, or morals of minor to be imperiled by neglect, abuse, or immoral associations – a Class 1 misdemeanor.

In related news, an Indiana man was recently convicted of child abuse for forcing his three grandchildren (ages 8, 9 and 12) to take a grueling 19-mile hike along the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon in 2011.


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