The father and stepmother of 12-year-old Cody Flom, who died while hiking on a hot summer day in 2016, are “absolutely shocked and in disbelief” about the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office’s decision to not pursue charges against the man who took him there.

“There were so many things in the police report that pointed to child abuse and negligence,” said Heather Flom, wife to Cody’s father, Brian.

MORE: No charges against man who hiked with boy who died in Phoenix heat

In its report, the Phoenix Police Department said Cody was wearing a 40-pound backpack when he became ill on the Sidewinder Trail in north Phoenix. His mother’s boyfriend, who had taken Cody hiking, said he tried to carry the boy back down the trail but was unable.

The boyfriend told police he left Cody in the shade to go get help, according to the police report. A park ranger who made contact with the mother’s boyfriend said he “observed (Cody) to be lying on the ground on a combination of rocks and dirt and not being in the shade,” the report states.

The county attorney’s office issued a statement Monday saying it was unlikely there was enough evidence to uphold a criminal charge.

“We don’t believe Mike Smith, Cody’s mother’s boyfriend, took him out there to kill him,” Heather Flom said. “Nobody ever said it was intentional.

“But you have to be accountable.”

RELATED: Deadly hiking: All the things not to do

Brian and Heather said they have an upcoming second appointment with the county attorney’s office and another meeting with a detective from the Violent Crimes Bureau.

“Why are they only believing his statement, and ignoring contradicting statements,” said Heather of the attorney’s office.

She also made note of a phone call that came from Cody’s number while he was out on the hike.

“His phone called his father’s phone at 3:58 p.m., and Brian could hear a voice saying something over and over again, and it was not Cody’s voice,” she said.

Smith is a registered nurse and Cody’s mother, Kehart Flom-Racoma, teaches nursing classes. Brian and Heather Flom wonder why they thought it was a good idea to take Cody out into extreme heat that day.

Attempts to reach Smith and Flom-Racoma were unsuccessful Wednesday.

Brian and Heather Flom said they have a potentially long road and difficult battle for justice ahead of them, but they aren’t deterred.

“We owe it to Cody to give it everything we’ve got,” she said. 


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