- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

BENTON, La. (AP) - The father and stepmother of an 11-year-old boy were jailed in Bossier Parish on drug and child abuse charges after the boy ran away from home and turned up a day later - tired, hungry and badly bruised, Sheriff Julian Whittington said Thursday.

The investigation began when authorities received a report that the boy had run away from his home in Plain Dealing on Tuesday evening, Whittington said in a news release.

The boy turned up the next night at a home more than 5 miles away.

After significant bruising was found on the boy’s body, officials with the Department of Children and Family Services were called. The boy allegedly told them that he had been physically abused. Investigators also said the parents had removed the boy from school but never took necessary action for legal home schooling. The boy remained in state custody Thursday.

“During the investigation, detectives also obtained verbal consent to search the residence, where they found marijuana, smoking devices, multiple rifles, shotguns and pistols,” Whittington’s statement said. “The couple admitted to smoking marijuana in the house while their son was present.”

The 43-year-old father and 30-year-old stepmother were booked with cruelty to a juvenile, criminal neglect of family, illegal carrying of a weapon with a controlled dangerous substance, illegal use of a controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a juvenile, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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