Toddler who went missing Saturday put into temporary custody, Judge says

Portland Police say the 2-year-old boy who was reported missing Saturday morning may have been out of his house for up to 11 hours before being found.

The child's mother, Hollian Markusen, called police around 6 a.m. when she awoke to realize the boy wasn't in bed with her at their home in Northeast Portland.

A massive search ensued with the help of canine units and helicopters, and 2-year-old River was found around 12:30 p.m. in blackberry bushes nearby. Officers said he likely escaped through an unlocked door.

Portland Police placed the child into protective custody pending an investigation. Police told KATU News there was "something" at the parents' home that made them want to keep the 2-year-old in protective custody.

Tuesday afternoon, a Multnomah County Juvenile Court judge ruled that River should be placed into temporary custody with the Department of Human Services.

Markusen and the boy's father, Aaron Schomaker, were both present at a court hearing Tuesday. Their attorneys told the judge they had not seen River since Saturday.

At the end of the hearing, the judge ordered River be put into temporary custody with DHS, the parents should get frequent visitations, and both parents could see River by Wednesday.

Markusen agreed to go into Residential Treatment, which the judge said would allow her to be with her son.

Schomaker and Markusen both declined to be interviewed at the courthouse.

Officer Daniel Tatro, who carried the child out of the bushes to safety, spoke with news media about the rescue.

He was called to the scene by Becky, who is a handler for Mountain Wave Search and Rescue's Canine named Ava.

"She told me they had located River's body, is the word she used. I was mentally preparing to have the unfortunate task of finding a dead 2-year-old, which is nothing anybody wants to do," Tatro said.

When he approached the 2-year-old, Officer Tatro quickly realized he was OK.

"He was initially crying there, as I lifted him out he just clung to me, you could tell he was really weak, he was very cold to the touch, he just had a long sleeve T-shirt which was soaking wet and a diaper," Tatro said. "I had an officer help me take my coat off and put the coat on him. Got into a patrol car and turned the heat on full blast until the ambulance arrived.

Officer Tatro said he won't forget the incident.

"This was one of those calls where River's life obviously will forever be changed. [Canine] Ava and [her handler] Becky saved his life, to be a part of that is really special. My wife commented that this is probably the top of my career!"

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off