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Reported sightings of couple in Plaistow child abuse turn up empty

Union Leader Correspondent

November 26. 2012 10:32PM

PLAISTOW - Several reported sightings of a Plaistow mother and her boyfriend wanted in the beating and burning of her 3-year-old son have led police to dead ends, but the nationwide manhunt for the couple continued Monday.

Rockingham County Attorney James Reams offered little information about the search Monday, saying "not a lot" has changed since last week and that authorities are "following up on all leads and tips."

The most recent reported sighting came Monday in Lowell, Mass., but a police search turned up nothing.

Police began searching for Jessica M. Linscott, 23, and Roland H. Dow III, 27, on Nov. 16 after arrest warrants were issued in connection with serious injuries suffered by Linscott's young son, James Nicholson.

The couple, who live at 197 Main St., are wanted on several charges after the pair brought the boy to Exeter Hospital on the night of Nov. 14. Exeter Hospital workers became suspicious of the injuries and immediately contacted police.

James was later rushed to Children's Hospital at Dartmouth in Lebanon, where he remains hospitalized and has undergone two brain surgeries. His condition is reportedly improving and he has regained eyesight after police said he suffered vision loss from the head injury.

Dow is charged with first-degree assault for allegedly hitting James in the head, causing a traumatic brain injury. He also faces a second-degree assault charge for allegedly burning the boy's wrist and fingers.

Dow is also charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly failing to seek medical attention for James when he suffered seizures and other symptoms stemming from the head injury on several occasions.

Linscott is charged with six counts of endangering the welfare of a child for also not immediately seeking medical care for her son.

The boy's grandmother, Helen Nicholson of Melrose, Mass., told the New Hampshire Union Leader last week that she and other family members had concerns about Dow and how he was treating James. She said her grandson recently told her that Dow was "hitting him in the head and spanking him." She claims she warned Linscott not to bring James back to the house with Dow around.

James is now in the custody of the state's Division of Children Youth and Families.

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