A Boise man who was charged with four felonies after he disappeared in May with his two young daughters — and exposed them to extreme conditions in rugged terrain near Eureka, Nev. — has reached a plea deal with Ada County prosecutors.
Joshua Dundon, 29, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of custodial interference and one count of infliction of great bodily injury, according to Ada County Deputy Prosecutor John Dinger. A second count of custodial interference and a second count of infliction of great bodily injury were dropped.
As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to recommend a 20-year prison sentence, including 10 years before Dundon is eligible for parole. Nevada prosecutors agreed not to file charges as part of this agreement with Dundon, Dinger said.
Eureka County sheriff’s investigators believe Dundon set his truck on fire and rolled it down a hill before retreating into the hills around Eureka with his daughters, then 6 and 7. Witnesses heard gunshots at the time the fire was set, and a deputy who responded to the scene told the sheriff that someone fired in his direction, Sheriff Keith Logan told the Statesman in May.
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On May 13, Boise police put out a notice to the public that they were looking for Dundon and his daughters, who had not been seen for several days. An Amber Alert was issued two days later, after Dundon’s truck was found burned in Eureka County.
Eureka residents helped sheriff’s investigators connect the dots between Boise and the remote Nevada town. On May 15, a thirsty, hungry and exhausted Dundon sought food and water at a ranch, and the residents notified authorities. That same night, searchers found the two girls in the hills — sparing the children a fifth night outside in frigid conditions.
The girls were reportedly shoeless and not in clothing appropriate for the wet, freezing temperatures. They were carried out of the rough terrain, Logan said, and examined by EMS personnel before being flown to Boise for treatment.
Dundon exhibited paranoid behavior and admitted drug use prior to disappearing with his children, prosecutors said at his arraignment in June. He had nailed shut the doors to rooms and closets in his house because he feared someone was inside them, and he also feared the government was tracking him, prosecutors said.
At the time Dundon took the children, he shared “verbal” joint custody with their mother, his attorney said at the June hearing.
Dundon is scheduled to be sentenced at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 7 by Judge Nancy Baskin.