SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) — A Millville Township woman is accused of abandoning her 10-year-old special needs son in the woods.
New Jersey State Police say a motorist spotted the son of 39-year-old Debra Wisler on Aug. 3 in a wooded area near the visitor’s center at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
Police say the motorist contacted military personnel and the young boy was brought to the visitor’s center where he was given food and water and evaluated by military first responders. The boy had minor injuries.
According to police, the boy told employees of the visitor’s center that his mom walked him into the woods with his luggage and left him there. The boy said he fell asleep in the woods and woke up hungry. The boy also gave them his mother’s name and phone number.
Troopers spoke to Wisler on Aug. 4 at the Bordentown Station. Detectives believe she left her son in the woods when she found out he was not eligible for a child program at the military base.
Wisler was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child. She was released pending a court date.
Barbara Todd, the boy’s teachers aide in kindergarten and first grade, was shocked over what Wisler allegedly did.
“He was her life and I just can’t believe it,” said Todd. “She got him involved in everything that she could and all services are available to him and her. I can’t even talk, I’m just still so shocked.”
The Division of Child Protection and Permanency located a temporary home for the boy.