CENTERVILLE — A Woods Cross mother and her boyfriend are facing child abandonment charges after police say they told a 13-year-old boy to walk 5 miles home on a chilly December evening.
According to court documents, the boy and his mother, 35-year-old Jyna Christine Patrick, got into an argument in the car on Dec. 28, 2015.
The driver, Aaron Brent Petersen, 38, told the boy to walk the remaining 5 miles home, according to police.
Centerville Police Sgt. Zan Robison said Petersen was Patrick's boyfriend.
The boy was dressed in sweatpants, a hoodie, socks and shoes, court documents say. According to police, it was 18 degrees that night.
"After a time," court documents say, Patrick and Petersen returned to the spot where they had left the boy. After they did not find him, they stopped to eat at a nearby restaurant. They allegedly never contacted police.
Patrick and Petersen are both facing a charge of child abandonment, a third-degree felony.
The boy was found by a Utah Highway Patrol trooper on an I-15 on-ramp walking north, away from his Woods Cross home, according to Robison.
Robison said the boy was "crying and distraught" when the officer found him, and he thought he was walking in the right direction.
Robison said detectives investigated the incident and conducted a follow-up with the Division of Child and Family Services.
Centerville police didn't know Monday whether the child was still with his mother.
— Emily Larson