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Child, 2, found tethered to tree near Willits, father arrested

A man remained in the Mendocino County jail Wednesday for allegedly tying his diaper-clad 2-year-old son to a tree branch without access to food or water.

Jeffery Wilson, 27, of Willits, is being held on suspicion of felony child abuse, possession of a controlled substance and trespass, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said they discovered the child July 27 in an illegal encampment along Highway 20 near Willits. The property owner previously had reported the encampment and deputies had warned Wilson and the other two adults staying there - believed to be the child’s mother and grandmother - to clean up and leave.

When deputies were called out again last week, the child was found secured to a tree branch by a rope tied to his right wrist, sheriff’s officials said. Wilson was sleeping on the ground nearby.

Deputies said they also found several weapons and other dangerous items within the child’s reach.

The child was taken into protective custody. Two dogs also were removed from the encampment, officials said.

-Glenda Anderson

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