Alabama boy who ran away was fleeing mother’s abuse, police say

Published 9:47 am Tuesday, February 6, 2024

An Alabama woman whose child ran away from home but was later found safe was arrested and charged with abusing the runaway child, police said.

Decatur police said they located the runaway 9-year-old four hours after he was reported missing. Police said he was found hiding inside a structure near his home on Mill Road Southwest.

Police decided the child needed to be evaluated by medical experts. After officials with the Decatur-Morgan Hospital examined the boy, they determined injuries the boy had suffered were likely from physical abuse.

Investigators identified the child’s mother, Jessica Cowley, 35, as a suspect and arrested her.

Cowley was charged with the willful abuse of a child. The child is expected to recover from the injuries and was placed in the care of a family member.