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Charges upgraded as hunt for Plaistow mother, boyfriend in beating case continues

PLAISTOW - Details of the alleged physical abuse against a 3-year-old Plaistow boy fighting for his life emerged Wednesday as the manhunt continued for his mother and her boyfriend.

At a press conference outside Rockingham County Superior Court, County Attorney James Reams said he was confident that Jessica M. Linscott and Roland H. Dow III would be found. Reams delivered a stern warning to the couple: "No matter where you go we're going to find you, so surrender yourself and let's do this the easy way," he said.

Reams also announced that assault charges were filed against Dow, 27, who lived with Linscott, 23, at 197 Main St., Plaistow. Dow now faces one felony count of first-degree assault for allegedly striking Linscott's son, James Nicholson, in the head on Nov. 1 and causing a brain injury.

He is also charged with felony second-degree assault for allegedly burning the boy's wrist and fingers. Dow was charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly failing to seek medical care for James on Nov. 12 and Nov. 14 when he suffered seizures and other symptoms from the head injury on five occasions, according to the complaints.

Linscott faces six similar misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child. She is also accused of not seeking treatment for James on six occasions when he was having seizures and other symptoms.

James remains hospitalized at Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon in serious but stable condition, Reams said.

The alleged abused was discovered by workers at Exeter Hospital when police said Linscott and Dow brought James in for treatment on Nov. 14. Concerned about his condition, hospital staff contacted Plaistow police, who then launched an investigation.

Arrest warrants were issued Friday for the couple, but they haven't been found.

Contrary to earlier reports, Reams said he believes Linscott and Dow have a car and are likely still in the area of southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts.

"There's no asset available to law enforcement that's not being used. We will locate them, it's just a matter of how long will it take and where will we catch them," Reams said.

As the search continues, Reams said the young boy is now in the custody of the state's Division of Children, Youth and Families.

Reams also warned that anyone assisting the couple would face felony hindering apprehension charges if they're caught.

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