BOISE, Idaho — A Boise man who pulled his two young daughters out of school during a custody dispute and fled to the Nevada mountains has pleaded guilty to custodial interference.
KTVB-TV reports (http://bit.ly/2h3M0HD) that 33-year-old Joshua Dundon pleaded guilty to the felony charge that falls under Idaho’s kidnapping laws on Wednesday in 4th District Court.
He also pleaded guilty to an infliction of great bodily harm sentencing enhancement.
Dundon picked up the girls, ages 6 and 7 at the time, at their elementary school in Boise on May 10. They were found May 15 in a mountainous area of Nevada and taken to a hospital to be treated for exposure and to be reunited with family members.
Prosecutors said Dundon was using methamphetamine when he left with the girls.
“The defendant told them that their mom was trying to kill them, that somebody burned down their house and poisoned their dog, and that police were coming to kill them,” Ada County Prosecutor John Dinger said.
The defendant’s family told police they became concerned about his increasingly strange behavior.
Investigators later found Dundon nailed all the doors and closets shut in his home and booby-trapped the house by causing a gas leak.
Dundon and the girls disappeared on May 10, a Wednesday, and traveled to Nevada where Dundon set his vehicle on fire.
Authorities say that by Monday, Dundon realized he needed help. He left the girls alone in the Nevada mountains and walked to a ranch house. The homeowners said they recognized Dundon from news reports and called 911, setting off a search for the girls.
Prosecutors say the 6-year-old, heeding Dundon’s warnings that police were planning to shoot them, was too afraid to call out for help when they heard deputies searching the woods around them.
But the older girl called out, alerting searchers to their presence. Both children were suffering from hypothermia.
Dundon was extradited back from Nevada and has been held in the Ada County Jail on $5 million bond. His sentencing is set for Nov. 7.
Information from: KTVB-TV, http://www.ktvb.com/