A Reno man accused of abandoning his 3-year-old stepson at a Utah department store was ordered into psychiatric care Thursday.
Police said Lyle Montgomery was being treated as a suspect in the disappearance of the boy's mother -- his newlywed wife who authorities fear has met with foul play.
"It is a missing-person investigation we are treating as though it was a homicide," Reno Police Chief Jerry Hoover said at a news conference.
"We certainly find that his actions and the information we have would lead us to continue to look at him as a possible suspect," Hoover said.
Montgomery, 42, who was accused of leaving the boy 500 miles away at a Salt Lake City ShopKo, was committed involuntarily to West Hills Hospital, a Reno psychiatric facility.
His wife, Jeannette Acord, 28, hasn't been heard from in more than a week, and police said they fear for her safety based partly on evidence recovered during a search of the couple's Reno home.
"I can't say what that evidence is, but it would certainly lead us to believe there was foul play," Lt. Ron Holladay said.
The boy, Jonathan Jacob Corpuz, told police that Montgomery fired a gunshot at Acord but missed, a police affidavit said.
A neighbor told police that Montgomery recently told her that his relationship with Acord had "deteriorated" and he was taking time off work to move her to Redding, Calif.
Police said they have been unable to locate any of Acord's immediate family and asked for the public's help.
FBI agent Michael McKinley said agents were aiding in the search.
"We've been involved in California, Nevada, Utah, Montana, really all over the West," he said.
Montgomery, who was charged in October with assault with a deadly weapon in a domestic dispute with Acord, was charged Thursday in Salt Lake City with a misdemeanor count of child abuse in the alleged child abandonment.
The child has been placed with a foster family in Utah. The boy's biological father, who lives in California, has spoken with his son, police said.
Montgomery was handcuffed at his home Wednesday night and taken to police headquarters for questioning before being taken to Washoe Medical Center. On Thursday, an emergency room technician committed him to the psychiatric hospital.
Montgomery had taken sleeping pills and alcohol before police found him when they served a search warrant at his home, his lawyer, Marc Picker said. Picker said it was not a suicide attempt.
Reno police said Montgomery volunteered to go to headquarters for questioning but refused to talk once he arrived. Holladay said police were still searching the home Thursday after finding at least one handgun.