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Troopers find 5-year-old boy safe; he’d been missing nearly 2 years

Troopers find 5-year-old boy safe; he’d been missing nearly 2 years | From News 8 at 10 p.m.

MOORESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A 5-year-old boy was found safe Tuesday afternoon after missing for nearly two years, Mooresville Police Chief Kerry Buckner says.

Buckner says two Indiana State Police troopers on Tuesday afternoon found the boy, his mother and her boyfriend, all sought in an Indiana Silver Alert issued in August 2022 at a rural Monroe County home.

The troopers found 5-year-old Steven Bryan; his biological mother, Deborah Bryan; and her boyfriend Caleb Blevins in a home in the 8300 block of North Fox Hollow Road in northern Monroe County. That’s near the rural community of Wayport, which is about halfway between Bloomington and Martinsville. The home also sits just southwest of the Morgan-Monroe State Forest.

Buckner said, “They went and knocked on the door. They knew people were inside, but they wouldn’t come to the door, and they applied for a search warrant. When they executed the search warrant they found all three individuals inside.”

Buckner says Steven Bryan was unhurt and was turned over to the Indiana Department of Children Services.

Deborah Bryan was 29, and Blevins was 30 when the Silver Alert was issued in August 2022.

Steven Bryan was last seen June 15, 2022, at a home on Elderberry Court in Mooresville. That’s where his biological father was supposed to visit the boy.

Investigators had always believed Steven was with his biological mother and her boyfriend.

Buckner said, “Over the last two years, we spoke to Deborah Bryan’s attorney, and I said, ‘Let’s just do a Zoom call and make sure the kid is OK, give us peace of mind,’ and no cooperation.”

About three months ago, two state troopers were assigned to the case, Buckner said. About 1 p.m. today, the troopers received evidence that the boy, his mother and her boyfriend were in the rural Monroe County home. The troopers got a search warrant, and then secured all three at the home. Buckner is not sure how long they were living there.

“It kind of indicates to me that they moved around a little bit. This may have just been where they moved to because when you’re on the run you don’t want to stay in one place too long.”

Misdemeanor charges of interference with custody were filed against Deborah Bryan in December 2022 in Morgan Superior Court 2. A warrant has been pending for her arrest.

Court records show Deborah Ryan asked the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court’s ruling that awarded custody of Steven to his father. The court has not yet made a decision in the case.

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