djr-2020-06-07-news-nathan-covarrubian-arp14

The entrance to Summit’s View Ranch for Boys, a boarding school for troubled youth in Alcorn County.

WALNUT • Only two days after a Texas boy who disappeared for over a week from the Summit’s View Ranch for Boys in Alcorn County was found alive, a second boy briefly disappeared from the facility Tuesday but was found the same day.

Alcorn County Sheriff Ben Caldwell told the Daily Journal that a 16-year-old ran away from Summit’s View about noon on Tuesday, and was soon located.

According to Caldwell, the boy was then turned over to the custody of the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services.

Nathan Covarrubias, 14, disappeared from the therapeutic facility for boys on Friday, May 29 and was found Sunday on a family farm in Tennessee.An attorney for Summit’s View, Tony Farese, said the Tuesday runaway incident “was a separate and unrelated event from the case of Nathan Covarrubias.”

According to Farese, “This second child had been discharged Friday of last week for aggressive behavior, and his parents refused to come from Austin, Texas, to pick him up. An escort service was engaged to transport him to another facility chosen by his family. While awaiting the escort service, he attacked two students and a teacher on Tuesday morning, which was caught on surveillance tape, and he left the facility.

“Summits View contacted law enforcement immediately, and the child was recovered shortly thereafter. Summits View is committed to ensuring the safety of all students and faculty and thanks law enforcement for their prompt response.”

Summit’s View opened in rural Alcorn County near Walnut in 2018 and is a non-profit offering faith-based treatment for boys 18 and under.

Within recent weeks, CPS opened an inquiry into the facility and conducted interviews there, according to Farese and emails obtained by the Daily Journal.

Speaking on behalf of the facility last week, Farese denied any wrongdoing and said Summit’s View has fully cooperated with authorities, including CPS.

A spokesperson for CPS told the Daily Journal the department does not comment about or confirm the existence of any ongoing inquiries.

The CPS inquiry began after former employees of the facility lodged allegations of misconduct, according to Farese.

“At the end of April, the beginning of May, there was an attempted corporate take over by some individuals in the organization, which failed, as a result of that, some of those individuals were terminated as employees, some resigned,” Farese said in a previous statement to the Daily Journal. “We believe those disgruntled ex-employees called CPS and made false allegations against the ranch.”

At least some of these former employers are related to the Summit’s View director, David Lovely.

Another former employee, who is not related to Lovely, previously told the Daily Journal he witnessed what he described as abusive behavior at the ranch.

Some of this behavior involved boys who ran away. Eddie Tomlinson said he saw one such boy later handcuffed to a ladder, with a bucket placed next to him to relieve himself.

Tomlinson quit his job as the facility’s vo-tech teacher in March. He said he did so after Lovely yelled at some boys for not breaking up a dog fight involving Tomlinson’s dog and a different dog.

Speaking on behalf of Summit’s View, Farese has denied Tomlinson’s claims.

caleb.bedillion@journalinc.com

Twitter: @CalebBedillion

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