ORLANDO, Fla. - WFTV has obtained new information involving a New Hampshire couple arrested at Universal Studios for allegedly beating and burning the woman's 3-year-old son.
Authorities said Jessica Linscott, 23, and Roland Dow, 27, fled to Orlando from the Plaistow, N.H., area after dropping off Linscott’s 3-year-old son, James, at a hospital beaten and bruised, claiming he had hurt himself.
The young mother told investigators her boyfriend beat and then burned her son and that she did nothing to stop it.
But Dow said he’s innocent and blames the media for exaggerating the situation.
Investigators told Channel 9's Kathi Belich the pair then hopped a Greyhound bus and headed to Orlando after leaving James at the hospital.
A national manhunt ensued for the couple after they were accused of abuse, and they were arrested Wednesday at Universal Studios as they enjoyed the park’s parade with a group of people.
"Just as though they're here on vacation, no disguise, just normal for the weather and everything else, they were here," said David Charles of the U.S. Marshals Service.
At least 15 undercover Orlando police officers working with the U.S. Marshals Service spotted the couple at the theme park about 6 p.m. Wednesday.
"The minute we saw them, that's when we took them into custody. There was no following them around and watching them all day long, of course putting other people in danger," said Charles.
At a news conference on Thursday, Plaistow's police chief got choked up as he asked reporters to pause with him for a moment, for James.
“I want to extend a personal thought to James. He's the only hero here. It's not me, it's not you, and it's not these guys,” said Chief Stephen Savage.
Investigators said the boy lost his sight temporarily, and Linscott and Dow initially claimed Nicholson caused the injuries himself.
A representative for the U.S. Marshals Service wouldn't say how long the couple had been in Florida or if they have ties to the central Florida area.
Dow is charged with first- and second-degree assault. Linscott is charged with multiple counts of child endangerment.
Both are currently being held in the Orange County Jail.
A sheriff's major in New Hampshire told WFTV he expects to find out Friday whether Dow and Linscott will fight extradition to avoid facing justice.
Prosecutors in New Hampshire said the two will be held in Orange County for at least a week.
Police said the boy's condition is improving but that his recovery will be long and difficult. He is recovering from traumatic brain injury and burns.