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Thread: Kidnapped child found 8 years later. So much WTF.

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Default Kidnapped child found 8 years later. So much WTF.

    Boy who vanished in 2004 may soon rejoin family

    By MICHAEL GRACZYK and WILL WEISSERT
    Associated Press
    Published: Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2012 - 2:59 pm
    Last Modified: Thursday, Mar. 15, 2012 - 2:31 pm

    HOUSTON -- Long after tiny Miguel Morin disappeared in late 2004, the infant's family still paused to mark the milestones of his life, holding a celebration every year on his birthday and praying for his safe, swift return.

    Now that wished-for reunion may be only days away after police arrested the boy's former babysitter on charges she abducted him and began raising Miguel as her own.

    "It's kind of hard to believe," the child's mother, Auboni Champion-Morin, said Thursday. "Some of these cases take years and years, and sometimes they don't come back. It was overwhelming."

    Miguel, now 8 years old, is in foster care in the Houston area while investigators sort out his complicated story. At a court hearing Thursday, a child-welfare investigator testified that he was healthy physically and emotionally but had apparently not attended school.

    Lisa Rose, an investigator for child-protective services, said the boy is a normal height and weight and that he's well-mannered but cannot read or name the school he attends. He believed he was 6 years old and identified a photo of the accused kidnapper as his mother.

    Miguel's parents agreed in court to provide DNA to confirm that the child is theirs. The whole family is eager to have him back, including the couple's five other kids ranging from 7 to 14, the mother said.

    "They're anxious," Champion-Morin said. "They're ready to see him."

    The former babysitter, Krystle Rochelle Tanner, had been a friend of Champion-Morin's and she was Miguel's godmother. She lived in the same apartment complex.

    Police identified her as a suspect shortly after the boy disappeared, but investigators soon lost track of her. Relatives said she had vanished, too.

    When the boy was reported missing, Houston police declined to issue any sort of alert that might have drawn tips from the public.

    Champion-Morin said officers told her she would have to pay $500 for that step, and she didn't have enough money.

    Instead, she put up fliers and constructed a website about her son's disappearance.

    In San Augustine, a community about 140 miles northeast of Houston where Tanner was jailed, police said evidence against Tanner had been presented to Houston prosecutors in February 2005, but no charges were filed because authorities could not verify the exact date the boy was reported missing.

    Further complicating matters were unconfirmed claims by Tanner's relatives that Champion-Morin asked Tanner to keep Miguel indefinitely and may even have had a written agreement to that effect.

    With no charges filed, Houston police closed the case in 2006.
    Gary Cunningham, chief deputy of the San Augustine Sheriff's Department, did not know why the case was abandoned.

    "I will add, however, that I truly think they did the best they could do with the information that they had," he said.

    The boy's parents were frustrated that the case was not more aggressively pursued.

    Police "kept changing the person who was supposed to be handling this case," Champion-Morin said.

    Victor Senties, a spokesman for the Houston Police Department, said the case was handled as a suspected kidnapping and was therefore assigned to homicide detectives. He said the department is now investigating why the matter was closed, but he would not elaborate.

    The case got new life last summer, when Tanner took the boy to the hospital for some kind of leg injury. She could not provide his name or Social Security number, which raised doubts among the hospital staff, who contacted child welfare investigators.

    Tanner told authorities different stories about the child: He went by different names and she had been asked to keep him for an extended period of time for a woman that she had met in a park. She told investigators she did not know the women's last name and had only been given a cell phone to contact her but that the number had since been disconnected, Cunningham said.

    In January, sheriff's deputies began investigating the matter as a missing child's case. Neither Child Protective Services nor law enforcement knew about the 2004 Houston kidnapping case because the boy had been removed from a national database of missing children.

    Caseworkers kept digging and told police on March 7 that Tanner's older child may have been reported missing in Houston years earlier.
    On Monday, officers arrested Tanner, who admitted she was keeping the boy "off the radar" by not sending him to school. Authorities located Miguel a day later, when Tanner's sister called to say she had seen reports of the arrest and offered to turn over the boy, whom she believed was her sister's stepchild, Cunningham said.

    Tanner was expected to appear in court next week. She does not yet have an attorney, and jailers were not making her available for interviews.

    Miguel's mother, a stock clerk at a clothing store, has not seen a recent photo of the boy and does not know for sure when she will be permitted to see him. She plans to get a lawyer to pursue legal action against Tanner.

    "This is my child, not her child," she said. "It's hard for me to hear that he's had no type of education, that he didn't know his age. I want to tell him that I love him."

    source: Boy who vanished in 2004 may soon rejoin family - Wire National News - The Sacramento Bee

    The fuck? They knew who took the kid. She moved only 140 miles away and continued to use her real name.
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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    i saw this on the news, and even though i watched the entire story, i felt like it was missing a ton of info.
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    Elite Member Kat Scorp's Avatar
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    Neither Child Protective Services nor law enforcement knew about the 2004 Houston kidnapping case because the boy had been removed from a national database of missing children.
    ... There seems to have been a cascade of fuckups occuring in the San Augustine Sherrifs department! The simple fact of the matter is this: Tanner kept that boy out of school and off the radar, ergo, she didn't have legal custody of him. The San Augustine Sherrifs must have their heads located up their arses.
    Who was the first person to say, "See that chicken there? I'm gonna eat the next thing that comes outta its bum"?


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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Sad case, but this one could have a happy ending. I cannot believe what that self serving creepy woman had the nerve to do and actually got away with it for this long.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    WTF kind of police department is this? If I lived there I would be pissed that the police department(s) in Houston and San Augustine were this incompetent.

    Glad this case had a happy ending, a lot of kidnapped kids don't have this kind of happy ending.

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Mel?
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Quote Originally Posted by lizzybabe View Post
    WTF kind of police department is this? If I lived there I would be pissed that the police department(s) in Houston and San Augustine were this incompetent.

    Glad this case had a happy ending, a lot of kidnapped kids don't have this kind of happy ending.
    Exactly my thoughts. I hate to immediately go to institutional racism, but this kind of smacks of it - although it looks like large chunks of the story seem to be missing.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    I think (through Mel would really know) the Houston cops are an equal opportunity shafter. No one is safe from their bad boy behavior.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    I would know too, geez, just because I moved don't count me out.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Kill Me View Post
    I would know too, geez, just because I moved don't count me out.
    Posted from my iPhone
    Sorry,JKM!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    It's going to be quite an adjustment for this kid; he doesn't know this family in the least, even if they are his real relatives. They don't know him. He's never been to school; gotta wonder about his social skills. Sad all around, but he's young and still has every chance in the world of beating these odds.
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    Elite Member WhateverLolaWants's Avatar
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    Poor little guy. Woman he thinks is mommy is going to be in jail and all of a sudden he'll be with a whole new family...
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    fgg
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    where's mohondas? or is he only interested in missing kids if there's a possibility that they're dead?
    can't post pics because my computer's broken and i'm stupid

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    Honestly, it sounds to me like this "Krystle Tanner" woman had someone on the inside helping her. One or two of these mishaps is believable. But this really seems like someone went out of their way to sweep it under the rug. I will not be surprised if it comes out that someone who worked for or with the police was involved or associated with the kidnapper.
    Last edited by southernbelle; March 19th, 2012 at 09:53 AM.
    Seapharris7 and darksithbunny like this.

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    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    This story stinks to high heaven. There is more going on than has been revealed so far...
    Seapharris7 likes this.
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