Police are looking into the possibility that a Plaistow couple who fled the area after a horrific child abuse case had help evading authorities.
Roland Dow, 27, and Jessica Linscott, 23, were arrested Thursday at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. after nearly two weeks on the run.
Several alleged sightings of them were made around the North Shore. The two had also reportedly been seen in Swampscott. Amassive manhunt came to Beverly over the weekend as authorities investigated what turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.
Dow was charged with first-degree assault for allegedly burning and battering Linscott's 3-year-old son earlier this month. Linscott was charged with multiple counts of misdemeanor-level child endangerment.
Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams said their arrest was the result of the public sending in hundreds of tips, the media highlighting the case nationally, and law enforcement agencies cooperating with each other.
"The chances of us getting them were very high," Reams said Thursday during a news conference. Last week, he had demanded the couple turn themselves in.
Reams said police have a "suspicion" the couple had help evading authorities. He said anyone who helped the couple will be charged appropriately.
Dow is facing up to 30 years in prison. He and Linscott will appear in a Florida court Friday, Reams said, adding prosecutors will ask they be held without bail because of their flight risk. The pair could be back in New Hampshire in as soon as a week if they agree to waive the extradition process.
Plaistow Police Chief Stephen Savage said his department and others worked around the clock to track down the pair, displayed "exemplary" police work.
Savage choked up while talking about Linscott's 3-year-old son, James, who is in serious but stable condition.
"He's the only hero in this case," he said.
Police said they discovered the boy's injuries after he was treated at Exeter Hospital Nov. 14.
During the week-long chase, Beverly Police were falsely led to believe the pair was staying at a Dunham Road home.
Reams on Thursday was asked about his reaction to the news that Dow and Linscott were arrested at a theme park while the boy was still in serious condition.
"It is what it is," he said.
Dow and Linscott on Thursday were being held in protective custody due to the case's high profile, said Allen Moore, public information officer for the Orange County Corrections Department in Florida.
Moore said the pair have denied media interview requests.