Couple Charged with Neglect Connected to Son's Death Moved to New Zealand

January 31, 2017 10:20 PM

Attorneys are trying to figure out if a Minnesota couple accused of child neglect is running from the law.

Seven-year-old Seth Johnson died in March of 2015.


Prosecutors say his parents, Timothy and Sarah Johnson, refused to take him to a doctor. They were charged last month and they were expected in Hennepin County Court Tuesday to face neglect charges but didn't show up.

RELATED: Plymouth Parents Charged with Neglect after 7-Year-Old Boy Dies

Prosecutors revealed that they have information showing the couple have moved to New Zealand and may have brought some of their minor children along and that they moved just within the last couple of weeks after being charged in connection with their 7-year-old's death.

Court documents show 7-year-old Seth Johnson had scrapes and bruises all over his body at the time of his March, 2015 death. He ultimately died from an inflamed pancreas and blood disease.

His parents told law enforcement they had noticed a change in Seth's health and behavior prior to his death.

They said their son had been hurting himself but they never took him to a doctor because they had "issues with going to doctors."

After investigating for more than a year, attorneys couldn't gather enough to charge his parents with homicide so instead they were charged with neglect late last month in connection with their son's death.

Attorneys are now working to figure out if the Johnson family has fled the country and is on the run or if the couple never knew they were supposed to be in court on Tuesday in the first place.

A summons was mailed to the address on file notifying the couple their first appearance was Tuesday afternoon. That's where their bail would have been set at $12,000 each.

However, that summons mailing was returned, unopened, so the charging attorney is working to learn if enough was done to officially notify the couple of the neglect charges and their upcoming court hearings.

These charges were widely reported as was the couple's upcoming court date.

After 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS aired the initial story on the charges, the crowd funding page dedicated to raising money for Seth's funeral expenses had been taken down.

If enough was done to notify the couple of their initial appearance, the judge in this case will be issuing a warrant for their arrest on Wednesday.



Katherine Johnson

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