Portland toddler found by police in blackberry bushes remains in DHS custody


A Portland Police officer who found a missing 2-year-old last weekend is talking about the moments he discovered the toddler in some blackberry bushes.

“This is one of those calls where River’s life could forever be changed, and we were able to be a part of it,” said Portland Police Officer Daniel Tatro.

This comes as the child’s parents faced a judge Tuesday and learned their son will remain in DHS custody, at least temporarily.

The parents of 2-year-old River, Hollian Markusen and Aaron Schomaker, left the hearing without their child.

Markusen will be required to complete the recommended drug treatment program before DHS will consider granting custody.

Markusen’s representative said that the mother is willing to undergo treatment, and do whatever it takes to get her son back.

In court Tuesday, a representative for Markusen said that anything dangerous that was in the home previously, is no longer there.

Police say the child’s parents woke up Saturday to find their son was missing.

The nearly six-hour search for River came to an end Saturday, when crews discovered the child in some blackberry bushes behind a business in northeast Portland - not too far from his home at 67th and Broadway.

Officer Tatro carried the child from the bushes to the ambulance.

“River was initially crying and as I lifted him out he just clung to me. You could tell he was really weak and cold to the touch,” said Officer Tatro.

River was treated at the hospital for non-life threatening injuries and exposure to the cold, before DHS put the child in protective custody, where he will remain temporarily.

“He just had on a long sleeve t-shirt and a diaper and you could tell he was very sick,” said Officer Tatro.

Markusen and Schomaker have not seen their son since Saturday, and a judge ordered a visitation within the next 24 hours, plus additional frequent visits.

River's parents refused to comment on the investigation. They are due back in court March 31.

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