SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A mother is accused of walking her 10-year-old special needs son out into the woods and leaving him there with his luggage.
Debra Wisler, 39, of Millville City, allegedly left her son on Aug. 3. in a wooded area near Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
After she abandoned him, the boy fell asleep and woke up feeling hungry, the New Jersey State Police said.
Wisler showed no interest in explaining herself Tuesday, CBS2’s Cleve Bryan reported.
A passing motorist spotted the boy wandering and contacted military personnel at the nearby base. They recovered the boy, and he was given food, water and treated for minor injuries, New Jersey State Police said.
The boy was able to provide his mother’s name and phone number.
Wisler told responding troopers that she left her son in the woods near the base after learning her son wasn’t eligible for a child program there, the NJSP said.
Wisler was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
Barbara Todd was the boy’s teacher’s aide in kindergarten and first grade. She was stunned by the allegations against Wisler.
“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,” she said.
Authorities with the Division of Child Protection and Permanency have placed the child in a temporary home.