Man gets six months in child disappearance

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NORTH ADAMS >> A Stamford, Vt. man was sentenced to six months in jail Friday for disappearing with a friend's child and allegedly using drugs.

Patrick Collins, 34, left with his friend's child on West Shaft Road to walk to a nearby store on the Mohawk Trail but never returned, setting off a hurried search by North Adams Police.

The six-year-old child's parent called police at about 7 p.m., alerting them that the two had taken the same trip the day before and were only gone for about an hour, but had not heard from them since they left earlier that day. Collins could not be reached because he did not have a cell phone, according to the police report filed by North Adams Police Officer David Sherman.

Investigators checked the store's security tapes, which showed no evidence of the man and child ever entering the store, the report states.

The absence set off a manhunt, with North Adams and Williamstown Police K-9 Units responding.

The mother eventually made contact with Collins, and said he sounded "extremely impaired" and had called from an unknown telephone number, according to the police report. He informed the woman that the two were fine and at a friend's house, but would not reveal where that was.

At about 9 p.m., a Williamstown Police Officer spotted Collins and the boy, unharmed, walking down Curran Memorial Highway in dark clothing.

Collins was arrested on the scene and a search of his person turned up a crack pipe and a syringe, which he allegedly told officers he used to inject suboxone. Collins also admitted to taking Klonopin earlier in the day, according to the police report.

After admitting to sufficient facts for a finding of guilty on charges of reckless endangerment of a child and class B drug possession, second offense , Collins was sentenced by Judge Paul Vrabel to one year in jail, with six months served direct and the remainder suspended until he completes probation.

Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376


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