MILLVILLE — The mother of a special-needs boy found in the woods near Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is facing criminal charges after the 10-year-old told authorities his mother had left him there.

According to a statement from the State Police, the boy was spotted on Aug. 3 in the woods by a passing driver. The driver alerted military personnel in the area. When the boy was located he was brought to the base's visitor's center where he was given food and water as well as a medical exam.

The boy told base personnel that his mother had taken him to the woods with luggage and had left him there. He also told police after he was left there he fell asleep and was hungry when he woke up.

After the boy provided his mother's name and phone number, he was taken to the Bordentown station of the State Police before he was placed in temporary custody by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency.

The day after the boy was found, 39-year-old Debra Wisler spoke to troopers at the Bordentown station and told them she had left her son in the woods after finding out he was not eligible for a program offered at the base.

Wisler was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child. She was released pending a court date.

New Jersey 101.5 did not know Tuesday whether Wisler had an attorney who could speak on her behalf. She could not be reached for comment.

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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com

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