Law Enforcement

Statesman Revelations In Missing Kid Case

Reporters Cynthia Sewell and Patrick Orr of the Idaho Statesman offer up a BLOCKBUSTER STORY on Wednesday’s front page, detailing an unsavory past of the adults involved in the disappearance of Robert Manwill, the 8-year-old tot last seen in the area of Vista and Cherry Lane.

Their detailed account took a lot of effort sifting through court records and no doubt top editors agonized over the “public’s right to know” vs any defendants right to a fair trial. In this case the GUARDIAN thinks the paper put things in perspective and provided a community service.

A major player in this delicate information balancing act is the Boise PD. If coppers were aware of the info detailed in the Statesman story, it would have been nice to share that with searchers. If coppers were not aware of the facts, they need to read the Daily.

Mom is on probation for fracturing the skull of Robert’s half brother, her boyfriend has a history of felony convictions and is banned from being alone with Robert’s half sister.

Adding to the tragic story, Robert’s father lost another son in 1993 when his then wife stabbed him to death in at Ft. Polk, Louisiana. Based on the Daily Paper story, father Charles Manwill had custody of the boy and doesn’t have a record–other than hooking up with women of questionable character.

Slow as they may have been off the starting blocks, the Daily deserves credit for putting the massive search in perspective. The latest info will no doubt shift the emphasis of the investigation. It also leaves open the possibility that citizens and police may have been on the proverbial wild goose chase for the past five days.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. They also deserve credit for the story on the surgery that the headache guy underwent. A very informative article on the technique.

  2. Kudo’s to the Statesman. Hopefully the kid just ran away from a bad situation.

  3. The one small wonder I had from the get go was, was the father under court order to allow the mother to have the boy for X amount of time X time of year. Being that the boy friend wasn’t allowed with the female child of this mother by the courts. Did the courts provide this information and other information to the out of state father who may have know nothing of these problems. Thinking he was sending his son to a somewhat safe place with the boy’s mother.
    I’m sure my wondering comes from all the stories one hears over the years on how men are treated like tenth rated citizens in family courts.
    As far as the child goes, I don’t know many 8 year olds that have the skills to support themselves for this many days. My gut feelings are the mom and the boyfriend know more than they are willing to let be known. I’m counting on the facts coming out sooner or later.

  4. “If coppers were aware of the info detailed in the Statesman story, it would have been nice to share that with searchers. ”

    I disagree. I am sure that if the BPD knew, they ran a seperate investigation in addition to the search. There is no reason for Joe Public volunteer doing an area search to concern himself with the fact that the parents may also be suspects…it is the searchers job to look in holes, knock on doors, look in canals….search the area…and the detectives job to investigate alternative possibilities with out tipping off any potential badguys, including the parents. Just my 0.02 worth.

    EDITOR NOTE–Our point is there is a big difference between looking for a kid who may have wandered off and body concealed as a result of possible criminal acts–regardless of who the suspects may be. You will see a much expanded search area today which should include remote “dumping areas.”

  5. There seems to be no direction one can look and see a happy ending to this tragedy!

  6. Mr. Watcher
    Jul 31, 2009, 9:11 am

    Here’s my hunch. The reason the police didn’t do squat until last night in checking out the mother and her boyfriend. Is because the father didn’t want to send his son to the mother because he knew what a (deleted) she was. But he was forced to by the family courts. Someone in the system knew this and they had the police play it off as if the kid was missing on his own or snatched by someone.

    People in government cover for each other big time all the time and this is just another case of it. The Statesmen blew the lid off of the situation of the mother and boyfriend and that forced the police to have to do what they were trying to not do to cover for the family court that forced the father to send his son to the dangerous mother.

    Watch a civil suit be filed by the father if it turns out the mother is involved in all of this. Or will the police destroy everything they can that points to the mother and just let it be a missing person matter with no close?

  7. I found it interesting that the police began their search of the mother’s apartment the evening of July 30th and apparently didn’t wrap it up until the early morning hours of July 31st – after the Friday edition of the Statesman had gone to press.

    As a result, only electronic media were able to report the situation this morning.

    This is merely an observation. I am resisting the temptation to ascribe sinister or vengeful motives to this.

  8. I spoke to someone who volunteered to search. He indicated that a police officer told a small group of them that they were searching for the body.

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