Boise Police Department
News Release

William L. Bones
Chief of Police

Contact: BPD Media Relations Office


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mom, Boyfriend Arrested After Missing Child Found Dead

Mom, Boyfriend Arrested After Missing Child Found Dead
Robert Manwill
Missing Child Investigation

Media Briefing, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009
Comments from Deputy Chief Jim Kerns, Boise Police Department, 7:00 p.m.

Good evening. I’m Deputy Chief Jim Kerns with the Boise Police Department.

We have a major announcement in the case of little Robert Manwill.

Robert… as we all know.. is the 8 year old boy first reported missing from his mothers apartment on Cherry Lane in Boise, Friday night July 24th.

Probably no other case in Boise history has touched so many people.

The turn out of volunteers to search for Robert was unprecedented in this community.

The law enforcement effort to find Robert was equally massive and unprecedented.

9,000 man hours were logged by Boise Police, agents with the FBI, Idaho Probation and Parole agents, and other local, state, and federal police agencies… between the time Robert went missing July 24th to the time he was found ten days later.

When Robert’s body was found, Monday, August 3rd… just over two weeks ago…the case went from a missing child to a homicide investigation.

At that time… I sent a strong message on behalf of Boise Police and all those in this community who were touched by the tragic, untimely death of this little boy…that justice would not be denied Robert Manwill.

And now I can announce… that late this afternoon… Boise Police arrested Daniel Edward Ehrlick, age 36, of Boise on a charge of First Degree Murder for the death of 8 year old Robert Manwill.

Daniel Ehrlick lived with Robert and his mother Melissa at the time of Robert’s death.

Daniel Ehrlick is also charged with Failing to Report a Death to Law Enforcement.

Also… this afternoon… Boise Police arrested Robert’s mother, Melissa Scott Jenkins, age 30 of Boise for First Degree Murder, in the death of her son, Robert Manwill.

Melissa Jenkins was also charged as an accessory for failing to report her son’s death to law enforcement.

Both Ehrlick and Jenkins were indicted on these charges today by an Ada County Grand Jury.

Both are now in police custody and being booked into the Ada County Jail…

Daniel Erhlick is being held on the murder charge without bond.

Melissa Jenkins is jailed on the murder charge with a bond amount of two- million dollars.

The arrests are a major step in the investigation… but the investigation into the death of Robert Manwill is still very much ongoing.

Detectives are asking anyone with any information on Robert … or the suspects… Ehrlick and Jenkins… particularly their activities the week leading up to Robert’s reported disappearance July 24th… is urged to contact Boise Police detectives through Crime Stoppers – 343-COPS.

The defendants will be arraigned tomorrow, Wednesday, August 19th, at 9:30 a.m. before the Honorable Judge Deborah Bail.

In the interest of a fair trial for those accused, we at Boise Police now put Robert’s case in the competent hands of the Ada County Prosecutors.

Again, on behalf of ALL the men and woman in law enforcement who searched for Robert and assisted in investigating his case… I thank this community for their help and support.



Robert was reported missing to Boise Police Friday evening, July 24th at 10:11 p.m. from the the Oak Park apartment complex 2800 W. Cherry, near Vista and Targee. 

Robert's disappearance sparked an eleven-day, multi agency search, that involved Boise Police, The FBI, Team Adam from the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Meridian, Garden City, and the Idaho State Police, Ada and Canyon County Sheriff Offices, agents from Probation and Parole, and officers with the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes task Force.




Media Briefing, Wed., Aug. 5, 2009
Comments from Deputy Chief Jim Kerns, Boise Police Department, 6:00 p.m.

Good afternoon, I’m Deputy Chief Jim Kerns with the Boise Police Department. Standing behind me is the Chief of Police of the Boise Police Department, Michael Masterson.

The information we can release today is in cooperation with the Ada County Coroner’s Office. The expertise of the Coroner’s office has been a valuable new tool for investigators in this case.

The body of the boy found in the New York Canal on Monday was positively identified this afternoon as that of 8 year old Robert Manwill.

Preliminary results of the autopsy give us reason to believe 8 year old Robert Manwill’s death was NOT an accident.

The case is now being investigated by the Boise Police Department as a homicide.

There remains NO evidence that Robert was abducted by a stranger.

We believe we will determine when and how Robert died, and who is responsible.

We will hold those responsible for Robert’s death accountable for their actions.

Our focus today remains the same as it was on July 24th… on Robert… and to find answers to what happened to cut short the life of this little boy.

Because this is now an active homicide investigation, as with any investigation of this type, we will not be able to hold the daily news briefings we’ve held for the past eleven days.

This is now a criminal investigation… and our justice system demands criminal investigations, no matter how complex, be thorough and methodical.

Please understand, we cannot compromise legal procedures and the integrity of this very important case with the premature release of investigative details.

This investigation is proceeding with urgency, and more answers will be made available at the appropriate time.

Citizens have been incredibly supportive of our efforts… and we appreciate that support more than words can say.

Our local media has been very responsive in helping us keep our community informed.

Keeping this community informed has been an important strategy in this investigation. You will be notified as soon as we have another major announcement in this case.

Justice will not be denied for Robert Manwill.

Thank you.


Volunteers Wrap Up

   Boise, July 31, 2009 - Boise Police would like to thank all the volunteers who supported the search effort for missing 8 year old Robert Manwill.
   The community participation in the effort to help find this little boy appears unprecedented in the City of Boise.
  • Area Covered: At this time, the volunteer effort has helped Boise Police cover an area between 1 and 2 miles radius around the location where Robert disappeared. Investigators say it's an area they wouldn't have been able to cover and clear without the public's help.
  • Results of the Search: Any items of interest would fall under potential evidence and not available for public release at this time.
  • Total Volunteers = 2330
  • Total Volunteer Hours = 9324.15
  • Future Search Efforts: At this time, thanks to the intense, multi-day volunteer search, many areas have been eliminated. As evidence and leads develop, other areas have been identified. At this time in the investigation and search for Robert, specific areas of interest must be searched by trained investigators. If investigators feel there's a need for additional volunteer searches, a call will go out to the community.
  • Thank You's: Investigators and search organizers have many, many people to thank for making the volunteer searches safe, and  effective. All the citizens who volunteered their time, dozens of local businesses, who donated everything from chairs and tales, to water, ice, printed flyers, and food. The Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue volunteers, local Red Cross volunteers, and law enforcement officers from Boise, Meridian, Garden city and Idaho State Police, the Ada County Sheriff's Office, and Probation and Parole.