Local News

Woman charged with felony child endangerment

A 34-year-old Ketchikan woman was arrested Monday for allegedly using duct tape to bind her 7-year-old son’s mouth and hands for most of the day Sunday.

Elizabeth C. Johnson was charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, a felony.

Lt. Joe White said the investigation began when police received a call Monday from Houghtaling Elementary School.

He had a report that a 7-year-old had shown up to school yesterday with tape residue on their face, in their hair and on their hands, wrists, forearms,” White said.

The student allegedly told officials that his mother had put tape around his mouth and taped his hands behind his back.

“The officers got to the school, and they interviewed the child who said, yeah, he got in trouble on the 16th right after breakfast, his mom put tape around his mouth and taped his hands behind his back, and left him there until bedtime,” White said. “He related that he missed lunch and dinner. He also told the teacher, and I believe the officers, too, that he had a hard time breathing and actually passed out during all this.”

Ketchikan police say they spoke to the boy’s 5-year-old sibling, who allegedly told police that he saw his mother put tape on his brother after breakfast, and not take it off until bedtime.

Officers went to the family’s North Yorktown home and contacted the boy’s mother.  At the house, police allegedly found two pieces of duct tape in the trash, one piece with hair stuck on it.

White said the case remains under investigation.

“I’m not positive if this is an ongoing practice that she has,” he said. “At this point, we just have the one incident that we’re looking into.”

White said the child didn’t appear injured, other than some redness on his face and arms. White said that both children are in the care of the state Office of Children Services.

Johnson was arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Ketchikan District Court.

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