11/18/08 – THV VIDEO – DHS: 21 Children Seized From Alamo Group

Today’s THV
November 18, 2008
Posted By: Robert Bell

DHS: 21 Children Seized From Alamo Group

State officials have seized 21 children associated with the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, taking them into protective custody because they were allegedly abused and neglected.

The children were taken into state care as hearings were being conducted on whether six girls seized in September should remain under state protection or be returned to their parents. Three boys seized were taken from the courthouse, where they were with their parents for the other hearings.

Eighteen of the children were found in two vans that were stopped in traffic by state police in Miller County. Department of Human Services spokeswoman Julie Munsell said she didn’t know what the children were doing in the van.

The children are still being processed, and Munsell didn’t have a breakdown of gender and ages, though all were 17 or younger.

An order by Circuit Judge Joe Griffin, which authorized the children to be seized, said there were allegations of neglect and physical abuse. Munsell would not detail the allegations.

State police spokesman Bill Sadler said numerous locations were searched as police and DHS officials looked for the children named in the order. Agents went to 14 homes in the Fort Smith area but found no children. Sadler didn’t have details on the circumstances under which the vans were stopped.

Alamo was arrested in September, days after his compound in Fouke was raided by state and federal agents. The six girls, between ages 10 and 17, were seized for their own protection.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

In: 2008 - (Trial year)

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