Couple charged when 5-year-old son wanders off in Masontown
By Renatta Signorini
Published: Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
A 5-year-old boy's parents were charged criminally because Masontown police allege the child was unsupervised when he walked two blocks from his home.
The boy was in police custody for 40 minutes before an officer was able to locate James Wyatt Flanagan, 35, of Independence, W.Va., and Tonya Marie Geigan, 38, of Masontown, according to affidavits of probable cause.
On Oct. 3, a passerby reported that the boy began following her along Spring Avenue around 7 p.m. The woman attempted unsuccessfully to contact Geiger and Flanagan, police said.
At the police station, the boy told Officer Alexis Metros that “his mother left him at the residence along with his younger brother, and he let himself outside.”
Police located Geiger and Flanagan near their home, and they told police their son “runs off all the time, but usually they find them,” according to the affidavits.
Metros noted in the complaint that the inside of the home had a “potent smell” of burnt crack cocaine. Both defendants told police they last saw the boy playing outside, according to the affidavits.
Neighbors told police that they routinely watch and feed the 5-year-old because “the parents constantly smoke crack inside the residence and put the children outside and lock the door while they do so,” Metros wrote.
Flanagan and Geigan are charged before District Judge Randy Abraham with endangering the welfare of children and reckless endangerment.
Summonses have been issued. Preliminary hearings are scheduled for Nov. 12.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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