Eight-year-old Robert Manwill was killed by Daniel Ehrlick Jr., who tortured and beat him to death while Manwill's mother, Melissa Jenkins, hid her son from government authorities who might have helped him.
So says an Ada County grand jury indictment unsealed Wednesday morning in 4th District Court.
Ehrlick Jr., 36, inflicted repeated acts of blunt-force trauma to the abdomen and/or the head of Manwill with his hands, knees, fists and/or feet and/or by other means of physical force, physical abuse or emotional abuse, according to the indictment. The beatings caused bruises, abdominal bleeding and injuries and head injuries that prompted Manwill's death on or about July 24.
The indictment alleges that Ehrlick Jr. intentionally tortured Manwill "with the intent to cause suffering, to execute vengeance or to satisfy some sadistic inclination by inflicting on Robert G. Manwill extreme or prolonged acts of brutality with the intent to cause suffering."
Jenkins, 30, a mother of three, had knowledge of the beatings and repeatedly hid her son from authorities and others who might have intervened. She also failed in her duty to seek medical attention for her son's injuries, despite knowing Manwill "was being subjected to escalating physical violence” by Ehrlick, according to the indictment.
Neither entered a plea and are expected to do so on Sept. 1.
An Ada County grand jury on Tuesday indicted Jenkins and Ehrlick Jr. on charges of first-degree murder. Both also are charged with failing to report a death. Police have provided no details about the evidence they have.
In Idaho, first-degree murder is punishable by up to life in prison or death.
Local, state and federal agencies logged 9,000 hours in the search and investigation after Robert was reported missing July 24, Deputy Boise Chief Jim Kerns said. Thousands of people volunteered in the 10-day search: “Probably no other case in Boise history has touched so many people,” Kerns said Tuesday. Robert’s body was found Aug. 3 in the New York Canal near Kuna.
Prosecutors have 60 days to decide whether to seek the death penalty. Police asked the public for information about the pair’s activities in the week before Robert was reported missing.