Robert Manwill murder: 8-year-old boy was abused for weeks and tortured to death in 2009 just like Emrik Osuna

Both the cases are very similar in nature and more importantly, these cases could have been prevented, said a former child abuse detective

                            Robert Manwill murder: 8-year-old boy was abused for weeks and tortured to death in 2009 just like Emrik Osuna
Robert Manwill (left); Emrik Osuna (GoFundMe)

It has now been more than 10 years since Robert Manwill, 8, was found dead in a New York Canal in Ada County in 2009. The child had vanished on July 24, while his body was found in the canal on August 3. The child's mother and her boyfriend were charged with murder in connection to his death. The mother's boyfriend, Daniel Ehrlick Jr 36, had tortured the boy and had repeatedly beaten him on his head and body.

As per the indictment, Ehrlick had tortured the boy "with the intent to cause suffering, to execute vengeance, or to satisfy some sadistic inclination by inflicting on Robert G Manwill extreme or prolonged acts of brutality with the intent to cause suffering". It is said that Manwill's mother, Melissa Jenkins, 30, had been aware of the beatings but never got him any medical attention. As per the indictment, Jenkins would aide the abuse and "actively and repeatedly" hid her son away from anyone who may have stopped the abuse or helped the child. 

Now 18-year-old Clara Gallegos, who was a classmate of Manwill, said, "It’s hard to realize it’s been 10 years and to realize that he didn’t get to grow up. We didn’t get to see how he would have turned out, the person he would have become," Idaho Statesman reports. Gallegos added, "We’ve tried to remember him, and we have. The community knows who he is. Everyone knows who Robert is. People in Boise. People in Oregon. Everyone knows who Robert is....As long as his name isn’t forgotten, then we’re doing something right."

The case of Robert Manwill has been compared to another one involving 9-year-old Emrik Osuna who could not be revived by police officers who had responded to a 911 call on Tuesday, September 1, 2020, PEOPLE reports. Osuna died after being tortured by his stepmother, Monique Osuna, who was accused of locking him in a closet at night, starved him, and also inflicted "physical strenuous punishments", a prosecutor has alleged. The child's father, Erik Osuna, admitted that he did not do anything to save his son. While speaking to a judge, the prosecutor, Tamara Kelly, said, "The little boy had bruises all over his body, specifically on his buttocks, groin, legs, and torso. Some of the bruises were extremely large and essentially covered the back of his body."

Both Monique and Erik are currently being held at the Ada County Jail on a $2 million bond each. The couple will be formally charged for their crimes on Thursday, September 17. Osuna's aunt, Marie said, "He was just like one of our own. He loved us. He would call me mom," she said. "He was just a good kid, he was happy. I just don't understand what happened." A GoFundMe page has been set up by Osuna's uncle with the hopes of getting his body from Idaho to California.

A former child abuse detective, Brett Quilter, spoke to KTVB about how both the cases are very similar in nature and more importantly, that these cases could have been prevented. In both cases, the abuse and torture had gone on for weeks and months with both having blatant physical abuse. In both cases, the abuse had been covered up as a punishment given to the boys.

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