Sheriff: Parents of missing boy arrested on drug charges

Author: the associated press
Published: Updated:

MACCLENNY, Fla. (AP) – The parents of a missing Florida toddler were arrested on drug charges Wednesday after police say they used drugs with an informant.

Lonna Lauramore Barton, 25 and Chris Barton, 42, were at a motel doing drugs when the informant called authorities concerned about safety, according to an arrest report.

They are the parents of Lonzie Barton, who was 21 months old when he disappeared July 24. Lonna Barton’s 32-year-old boyfriend, William Ruben Ebron Jr., remains in jail on child neglect charges.

Ebron Jr. told police that he left Lonzie in his car alone for a few minutes to retrieve something in the house, and when he returned the car was gone.

Authorities later released surveillance video showing Ebron’s car driving past the camera, and then later a man they believe to be Ebron running back the other direction.

The child has still not been found.

Chris Barton was pulled over by deputies shortly after the informant’s call after leaving the hotel with another man, authorities said. He is also charged with selling drugs to an informant the night prior to the arrest.

Sheriff Joey Dobson said that authorities had been investigating for almost a month.

Lonna Barton also is accused of child neglect and giving false information in connection with Lonzie’s disappearance. She was on probation for those charges.

Both appeared in a Baker County courtroom on Thursday. Lonna Barton is being held on $700,000 bail, and Chris Barton on $1.05 million bail.

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