Lost Toddler Placed in State Custody

Bradley Michael Thomas, the toddler who was found in the woods south of Bend on Thursday morning, is now officially in the custody of the state after being removed from his parents following the arrest of the baby’s father.

One-year-old Bradley was miraculously found unharmed Thursday afternoon after he’d been missing for nearly six hours along China Hat Road in Bend.

According to Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson, Bradley was located alone and naked nearly a mile northeast of the vehicle the toddler was living in with his parents. The detective who found Bradley took him in an ambulance to St. Charles Hospital, where the child stayed until this afternoon.

The Sheriff’s Office said Friday that Bradley is doing well and is currently in the care of the Department of Human Services.

The Central Oregon community quickly came together following news of Bradley’s disappearance and has continued the outpouring of support for the toddler. Due to this outpouring the Sheriff’s Office is now accepting donations of clothing and other items to give to Bradley until he has a permanent home.

Bradley’s father, 25-year-old Brandon Blouin, was placed under arrest and charged with criminal mistreatment, neglect, endangering the welfare of a minor and an assault charge police say is associated with an injury Bradley likely received prior to going missing while in his parents’ care.

Blouin has a long history of run-ins with the law across multiple state lines and, according to Bradley’s extended family, a history of abuse towards Bradley’s mother Katelin.

Bradley’s maternal grandmother and aunt, who live in West Virginia, have been searching for Bradley for months. Bradley’s grandmother Mellisa Jordan said she was granted full custody of Bradley in March, but in early February Katelin requested a play date with Bradley and never returned.

The family heard nothing of Bradley’s whereabouts for three months, and while they haven’t been able to see Bradley, Jordan did hear from Blouin on Friday when they were both dialed in to a custody hearing at the Deschutes County Courthouse.

Jordan said Blouin sounded distressed, just as he did on Thursday after Bradley’s rescue, however Jordan said this show of emotion is nothing but manipulation.

The family hopes to be reunited with little Bradley soon, but for now he will be put in foster care.

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and Redmond Police are accepting donations for Bradley while he is in state custody. They said they are in need of any clothing size 18 months, shoes size 6 to 7, and size 7 diapers.

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