A North Carolina woman was arrested for allegedly making her son stay outside in the cold while she attended a party, but according to the child’s older brother, their mother thought the child was at a friend’s house.
WRAL reports that Susan Dowless, 43, was released from jail on Weds. night after Wake County authorities arrested her for misdemeanor child abuse. Part of her release includes no contact with the 10-year-old boy she’s accused of leaving outside when the temperature dropped to 38 degrees.
According to the arrest warrant, Dowless attended a dinner party on the day in question, and left her son outside “when the temperature was below 40 degrees, for several hours, without … adequate clothing, nourishment or supervision.”
Gilmore Smith, the suspect’s 21-year-old son, said that the entire ordeal was a huge misunderstanding. According to Smith, the child told his mom that he was playing with friends and when he failed to return home, she assumed he stayed over at a friend’s house.
“We waited for him for a good hour and then we went on. We weren’t trying to abandon him or anything,” Smith explained to WRAL. “We thought he was going to be with his friends, like he normally was. Every time he comes home from school, he goes to his friend’s house. He plays until it’s dark, then he comes home.”
Smith also stated he is the father figure in his little brother’s life and that he and his mother both failed the boy..
“It’s on me an my mother because we weren’t watching him.”
Smith said that the boy is doing fine and in good health, currently staying with other family members.
[Feature Photo: Susan Dowless/ Raleigh-Wake CCBI]