Police Beat

A woman has been charged with child abuse after her son went missing from school in Lincoln and they were found in North Platte. The mother was unable to remember several days, police say.

On Friday, Lincoln police contacted North Platte police about a truant 15-year-old boy. The boy, who has autism, was taken out of school by his mother, said Beth Kerr, public information officer for the North Platte Police Department.

Authorities in Lincoln said the mother “was acting erratically and was possibly hallucinating while under the influence of narcotics,” Kerr said.

The mother had told authorities she was traveling to North Platte “to check on a relative,” Kerr said.

Late Saturday afternoon, North Platte police officers saw the mother’s vehicle and pulled her over near Ninth and Willow streets. Officers found that the mother and son “had no luggage, none of their prescribed medication and had not showered in several days,” Kerr said.

The mother had no recollection of the past few days “and was very confused,” Kerr said.

A chemical test was requested, and the mother tested positive for methamphetamine.

The mother, Jamie Branting, 34, was arrested. In Lincoln County Court on Tuesday, she was charged with intentional child abuse not resulting in injury, a felony. She was appointed a public defender who has not been determined yet. Her bail was set at $25,000 with a 10 percent option.

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