Fugitive couple charged with burning, beating boy could be extradited to N.H. as soon as next week

These Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 booking photos released by the Orange County Corrections Department show Roland Dow, left, and Jessica Linscott, of Plaistow, N.H., who were arrested Wednesday evening at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. Dow, 27, and Linscott, 23, who authorities said spent two weeks on the run, were wanted in connection with injuries to Linscott's son, including burns and significant head injuries.
Corrections Department, Fla.,AP Photo/Orange County
Roland Dow (left) and Jessica Linscott
Corrections Department, Fla., AP Photo/Orange County

(CBS/AP) PLAISTOW, N.H. - New Hampshire authorities will know soon whether fugitive couple Jessica Linscott and Roland Dow will waive extradition and voluntarily return to the state in the beating and burning case of Linscott's 3-year-old son.

Pictures: Fugitive couple arrested at Universal Studios

Linscott, 23, and her 27-year-old boyfriend, Dow, were taken into custody Wednesday evening at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. after being on the run for two weeks, U.S. Deputy Marshal Jeffrey White said. According to White, the two also made stops in New York and New Jersey.

Dow is charged with first- and second-degree assault. He and Linscott face multiple charges of child endangerment for failing to protect and get medical attention for James Linscott, who remains hospitalized at Children's Hospital at Dartmouth in Lebanon, N.H.

Police say Dow stuck the boy in the head with enough force to cause traumatic brain injury and seizures, and burnt the boy's wrist and fingers. The boy's condition is reportedly improving but his recovery will be long and difficult.

Authorities tracked the couple to a Florida hotel and Universal Studios with the help of tips from acquaintances and others. White said the couple seemed surprised when they were apprehended while watching a parade at the theme park.

"I don't think they believed anyone would come looking for them in Florida," White said. "They didn't resist. They didn't have any weapons."

"It's very upsetting to everyone involved," White said. "They were hiding out in a place you'd normally take your kids for enjoyment, to have a good time. Here they are down there, on the run, after harming their child."

The two are not expected to appear in the Orange County courtroom Friday morning for what Florida officials say is a routine proceeding involving paperwork. Rockingham County District Attorney Jim Reams said that if the couple waives extradition, they should be back in New Hampshire and appear in court sometime next week.

If they don't waive extradition the process will be more time-consuming, Reams said. New Hampshire's governor would then have to make a formal request of Florida's governor to send the couple back to New Hampshire.

Police said Dow and Linscott told them by phone several weeks ago that the boy's injuries were self-inflicted and that they would go to the police station later. They never showed up. Law enforcement officials then spent "countless hours" trying to find the couple.

Helen Fram, Dow's grandmother who lives next to the couple in a two-family home in Plaistow, said Thursday that she's certain her grandson and Linscott did not hurt James. She said the boy sometimes banged his own head on the bathtub or threw himself off the toilet.

"They would never, ever hurt a baby. Never," she said."

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Nov. 29, 2012 - Fugitive couple arrested at Universal Studios for allegedly beating, burning boy in N.H.