Adoptive mom, brother arrested for child abuse after boy escapes home, spends days in shack he built in woods, officials say

National

CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A boy who disappeared from his Cheatham County home last year, leading to a statewide AMBER Alert, ran away to flee the abuse inflicted on him by his adoptive mother and her biological son, according to investigators.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released the information Wednesday evening following the arrests of Coletta Gorman and Alvin Jensen earlier in the day.

Coletta Gorman is the adoptive mother of Jordan Gorman, the nine-year-old boy reported missing in Nov. 2020 and found safe days later after building a shelter in a creek bed.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation had issued an Endangered Child Alert for Jordan on Nov. 15, 2020, then issued an AMBER Alert for him the following day.

Search teams combed through a heavily-wooded area around the family’s home and located Jordan safe in a creek bed on Nov. 17. The boy said he found a tarp and built himself a shelter nearly one mile from his home.

During the investigation that followed, TBI agents said they determined the Gorman and Jensen mistreated Gorman’s adopted children, leading Jordan to leave home to flee the abuse.

A Cheatham County grand jury returned indictments Wednesday, charging Gorman with six counts of aggravated child abuse, neglect and endangerment. The indictments also charged Jensen with one count of the same offense.

Gorman and Jensen were arrested by Cheatham County deputies. Gorman was jailed on a $550,000 bond, while Jensen was held on a $100,000 bond.

News 2 was the only crew at the Cheatham County jail as Gorman turned herself in. She tried to hide her face from our cameras and had no comment.

Jensen told News 2 cameras, “I don’t really know what’s going on,” as deputies brought him in wearing handcuffs.

Cheatham County Sheriff Mike Breedlove said the allegations are something only someone evil could do, the worst he’s seen in his career. 

“There was quite a bit of evidence that there was quite a bit of physical abuse occurring in the household over a period of time…that was one of these cases had such a happy ending. We were able to locate and bring him back, but with that it opened up whole another level of investigation,” the sheriff told News 2. 

The sheriff said there is no evidence that Gorman’s husband played a role in the allegations.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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