I represent the father of the 4 year old boy, Benjamin, for which an Endangered Person Advisory was this morning issued by the Polk County Sheriff.
My client has been and continues to follow the law and engage the court system in order to advocate for the best interests of his child. The boy was neither lost nor endangered. Nor was he ever “found.” He was never abducted from the Polk County Courthouse nor anywhere else. Indeed, he was never in Polk County during the relevant time period. Throughout the past few days, Benjamin has been safe, happy and engaged with his school, family and friends.
There was a recent court appearance involving the family and the court issued an order transferring custody of the boy. My client followed that order before he even received a copy. I filed today a Motion to Reconsider the order entered by the court and expect the court to take action appropriate under the law to protect Benjamin’s interests. There was no evidence of abuse offered during that court appearance nor was evidence of abuse considered by the court prior to entering its order.
My office received no inquiries from law enforcement, the courts, the child’s lawyer, nor the media regarding the location of my client nor the child, which I would have been happy to provide. Instead, an Endangered Person Advisory was issued and my client and Benjamin awoke to find their names and photos broadcast throughout the region along with words like “abuse” and “endangered.” At this time, my client and his family would ask that Benjamin’s privacy and dignity be respected and that the family be allowed to seek the guidance of the courts without the media attention and scrutiny which can only serve to cause this child and his family additional humiliation and harm.
The Endangered Person Advisory is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement and local broadcasters to rapidly disseminate information in certain circumstances that fail to meet the AMBER Alert criteria.