Police search Idaho home in missing boy case

BOISE, Idaho — Police searched a southwest Boise residence and closed off a section of a landfill Saturday as they continued looking for an 8-year-old boy who went missing more than a week ago.
Robert Manwill reportedly disappeared July 24 after leaving his mother's apartment in Boise, where he was visiting. Deputy Chief Jim Kerns has said evidence in the case indicated the boy could be hurt "or the victim of a tragic event."
On Friday and Saturday, investigators searched a southwest Boise home. They began digging in the backyard after dogs picked up a scent, said Evan Wallis, who owns the house.
On Thursday night, police searched Manwill's mother's apartment, where the boy was visiting.
Wallis said he knows the boy's family but doesn't understand why police are searching the rental property, which is near Five Mile Road in Boise.
"I'm innocent," Wallis told the Idaho Statesman newspaper. "I'm an innocent bystander."
Chief Kerns said at a press conference Saturday that the residence is one of many areas of interest in the case. Police, so far, say there have been no arrests or suspects in the case.
"It makes me sick to know this is going down at my house right now," said Wallis, who was out of town last weekend and returned Monday. "I'm not going to say for the record nothing's back there because I don't know. Maybe something did happen along the lines when I was out of town."
The renters of the home told KTVB-TV they knew the Manwills.
The night he disappeared, the boy was visiting his mother, Melissa Scott Jenkins. The boy's father, Charles Manwill, has had custody of him since 2008.
Jenkins pleaded guilty in March to a misdemeanor charge of injury to a child following an October 2008 incident that fractured her infant son's skull. The child is the son of Jenkins' boyfriend, Daniel Edward Ehrlick.
Jenkins was sentenced to 29 days of work release, fined $75.50 and put on probation for two years, according to court documents.
Investigators were seen taking an SUV and other items during the search of the apartment Jenkins and Ehrlick share.
The two have appeared at press conferences with police but have not spoken publicly.
Ehrlick's father, Daniel Ehrlick Sr., said he last saw the 8-year-old Manwill the day he went missing. He said he had dropped some money off at his son and Jenkins' apartment to help them pay their bills.
Ehrlick Sr. said he used to pick Manwill up in New Plymouth, where the boy's father lives, and bring him to Boise to visit. After the boy went missing, Ehrlick Sr. said his son accused him of taking the child and police questioned him.
"I haven't talked to him since he accused me," Ehrlick Sr. said.
More than 2,300 people combed a 1-mile to 2-mile radius around the scene where Robert Manwill was reported missing on Friday, the one-week anniversary of his disappearance.
The search was believed to be the biggest attempt to find a missing person in the city's history.
Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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