Parents arrested after cops say search for runaway son reveals 9-year-old was seriously malnourished

Two days after their 9-year-old boy was reported missing, a Louisiana couple faces criminal charges.

According to WAFB, authorities in Evangeline Parish staged a search for young Bryson Thibodeaux on Saturday after parents Paul and Minette reported him missing.

The boy reportedly ran away from the Blue Point residence on Friday and was found the following day near a neighboring home.

As part of a Level II Missing Child Alert, a number of local agencies and organizations were aided by residents who volunteered to search the area on horseback, on foot and with all-terrain vehicles.

When police observed Bryson’s physical appearance, they began to investigate his parents for possible neglect. Reports indicate the child looked malnourished.

Officers searched the family’s home and concluded that the child and his younger sister were living in substandard conditions.

In addition to Bryson, the 8-year-old girl living at the residence was taken into the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services.

Paul and Minette Thibodeaux, both 45, were arrested on Sunday morning and booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail.

They are both expected to face criminal charges including cruelty to juveniles. As of the latest updates, bond had not yet been set in their cases.

Before their son was found, they spoke to a reporter at KATC about his disappearance.

“Everybody just please keep doing what you’re doing,” Paul Thibodeaux said. “We can’t think you enough for the outpouring of support. It means a lot to me and my wife and my family.”

[Featured image: Minette and Paul Thibodeaux, Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office]