Prosecutors: Robert Manwill was tortured before murder

Prosecutors: Robert Manwill was tortured before murder »Play Video
Melissa Jenkins and Daniel Ehrlick appear in Ada County court Wednesday morning.
BOISE - Court documents are alleging that Robert Manwill's mother and her boyfriend tortured the 8-year-old boy under sadistic circumstances before murdering him in July.

"Daniel Ehrlick...did unlawfully and with the intentional application of torture, kill and murder Robert G. Manwill, a human being, by intentionally inflicting upon...extreme or prolonged pain with the intent to cause suffering, to execute vengeance, or to satisfy some sadistic inclination and or by inflicting upon extreme or prolonged acts of brutality...," court documents say.

The documents go on to allege that Robert's mother, Melissa Jenkins, 30, did aid and abet Ehrlick in "(inflicting) repeated acts of blunt force trauma to the abdomen and or head of Robert Manwill with his hands, knees, fists and or feet and by other means of physical force, physical and or emotional abuse which caused bruising, pain, abdominal bleeding and injuries..."

Click the following links to read the indictment charges for Melissa Jenkins and Daniel Ehrlick


 Robert Manwill

 Melissa Jenkins

 Daniel Ehrlick

Jenkins and her boyfriend, Daniel Ehrlick, were arrested and indicted by an Ada County grand jury Tuesday with the murder charges of Robert Manwill. A separate Ada County grand jury indictment accuses the mothe of hiding Robert Manwill's injuries from government officials who could have intervened.

The 8-year-old boy was last seen outside the apartment where his mother lives in Boise on the night of Friday July 24.

"The arrests are a major step in the investigation," said Jim Kerns, Boise Police deputy chief. "But the investigation of Robert Manwill's death is still very much ongoing."

Police did not elaborate as to why they arrested the two.

Robert's body was pulled from the New York Canal about 14 miles away Aug. 3. It was then when police say the case was classified as a murder investigation.

The Ada County Coroner's office said forensic dental information helped positively identify the body found in the canal.

"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 for Robert Manwill," Kerns said.

Ehrlick and Jenkins' next scheduled court date is Sept. 1 where they're expected to enter a plea. Jenkins is being held on a $2 million bond, while Ehrlick is being held without bond.

Prosecutors have 60 days to decide whether they will seek the death penalty.

Some residents at the Oak Ridge apartments say they are hurt and angry at the latest developments. Some have spent hours planning vigils and supporting Robert's mother.

"We ended up giving our hearts and everything toward her (Melissa Jenkins) as a mother," said Kandi Davidson, an Oak Ridge resident. "She came up to my kids and was all cuddly and played innocent and come to find out that she had something to do with it. It's pretty disturbing."

Dave Bieter, Boise mayor, made the following statement about the case:

"I commend the Boise Police Department for conducting a diligent, organized and thorough investigation that has successfully resulted in charges being filed against two individuals," Bieter said.

"While the presumption of innocence must be maintained, I hope and have faith that justice will be served in this case and that our citizens -- who have shown incredible compassion in the face of tragedy -- can begin to mend from the loss of Robert Manwill."

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 24 is urged to contact Boise Police detectives through Crime Stoppers at 208-343-COPS.

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