By Dave Rogers
---- — SALISBURY — State police cruisers were scattered across Salisbury yesterday with police on the lookout for a Plaistow, N.H., man and his girlfriend wanted in connection with the brutal, near-fatal beating and burning of her 3-year-old son almost two weeks ago.
Roland Dow, 27, and his live-in girlfriend and the boy’s mother, Jessica Linscott, 23, were expected to turn themselves in to authorities last week after Plaistow police identified the pair as those who dropped off the child at Exeter Hospital in Exeter, N.H., with serious head injuries, massive bruises and burns. The couple told doctors the injuries were self-inflicted, but doctors concluded that was not the case.
Instead, the couple fled, prompting a manhunt that has lasted more than a week and included possible sightings across the North Shore and the Merrimack Valley. Recently, the couple was alleged to have been spotted in Haverhill, Swampscott and Hampton, N.H.
A tip that led police on a massive search in Beverly on Saturday turned out to be a case of mistaken identity, and there is no evidence that they were ever in that city.
A state police spokesperson yesterday would only confirm that troopers from its fugitive unit were deployed to help New Hampshire authorities in their search for the couple.
“It’s an ongoing investigation, so we have no comment to where we think they are,” the spokesperson said.
Yesterday, state police cruisers were spotted in the Salisbury Kartland parking lot and in an abandoned gas station parking lot adjacent to routes 1 and 286.
When approached by a reporter yesterday, a state trooper confirmed they were staying alert to the possibility that Dow and Linscott were traveling through Salisbury in their continued efforts to elude authorities.
Salisbury police Chief Thomas Fowler said yesterday that his officers have been briefed on the case, as have police officers across the area but are not working in tandem with state police troopers.
Dow faces to 10 to 30 years in state prison on single charges of first- and second-degree assault for allegedly burning the boy and hitting him in the head. Dow also will be charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child for failing to seek medical care for the child. Those counts are misdemeanors, punishable by up to a year in jail for each.
Linscott faces six child endangerment charges for failing to protect her young son, who is now in state custody and recovering from his injuries. In recent days, the condition of the boy has improved after two brain surgeries.
Anyone with information is asked to call 911, the U.S. Marshal’s Office at 603-225-1632 or Plaistow police at 603-382-6816.
Reporter Bill Kirk contributed to this report.