(NaturalNews) Two Arizona parents say state Child Protective Services officials have essentially kidnapped seven of their children after one child died mysteriously while in the care of a babysitter friend months ago, though no criminal charges have been filed and no autopsy report has been issued by the medical examiner’s office.
According to interviews and data provided to Natural News, Jeff and Tabitha Shoars of Avondale, a suburb of Phoenix, have so far been given no explanation as to why CPS officials who removed their children from their home have begun the process of terminating parental rights after their daughter, Khloe, 3, who was born prematurely and with a brain hemorrhage, collapsed and died more than five months ago, in August.
Here are the details of the case.
The evening of Khloe’s death, Jeff and Tabitha left all of their kids, between ages 2 and 9, with a babysitter and family friend whom an account did not name but only described as a “young” “African American” man “in his twenties.” That account, allegedly posted by Tabitha Shoars on this blog site, said the couple left for the evening to attend a meeting before Jeff went to work and she attended a study group for a massage therapy course that she was taking.
Another account at Health Impact News noted that Khloe usually had a good appetite but that it had disappeared that night. Also, it said she had complained to her parents of a headache a few days earlier.
After dinner on the night of her death, the first account said, all of the children were playing outside of their home when Khloe fell and struck her head. No marks or bumps were found, according to the babysitter, who also said Khloe went to bed early.
Later in the evening, she woke up suddenly with a high-pitched scream and she began to cry, according to Health Impact News. The babysitter told police that he initially believed she had a nightmare, so he got her up and walked her to the kitchen for a drink of water. He said she appeared to be a bit unstable on her feet, but he attributed that to sleepiness.
After sipping some water, Khloe’s eyes rolled and she collapsed. The babysitter said he immediately called 911 and began CPR.
About 45 minutes later, Jeff and Tabitha had gotten word that Khloe was taken to the hospital. When they arrived home to check on the rest of their children and to speak with police, they said their house and others in the immediate vicinity had been taped off like a crime scene. Tabitha said police instructed her to go to the hospital; Jeff remained behind, Health Impact News reported.
The babysitter was initially arrested and held as a suspect, but he was eventually released with no charges filed. Initially, police treated the death as a homicide, but again, no charges have been filed.
Months have passed without action
In addition, the couple has said, an autopsy has been done, but so far no official cause of death has been released. The Shoars say that the medical examiner’s office told them they are waiting for the police report before releasing the autopsy results.
Further, the Shoars said all physicians and healthcare providers linked to Khloe’s treatment have said they found no evidence of abuse. A rape kit also came back negative.
According to the first account, Tabitha has said she does not believe the babysitter harmed her child, but rather that she simply died of natural causes stemming from her previous condition.
Immediately after Khloe’s death, state CPS officials said that it was standard procedure to remove the remaining children from the home, until authorities had an opportunity to complete their investigation — a mandate that the Shoars considered completely reasonable.
But months have passed and their children remain dispersed in a number of homes of family and friends.
Discrepancies in the official versions of events
As reported by Health Impact News, Family and Child Advocate Steven R. Isham, MA, LSBW, recently met with the Shoars and found a number of discrepancies pertaining to the actions of CPS. Among them:
— The court documents and child protective services documents misrepresent and conflict with the facts.
— There is documentation that has been added to reports that did not occur.
— There seems to be documentation of threats made to the children by the Foster Parents, and by CPS workers to elicit certain behaviors and language.
— [Isham] was unable to discover in the records or through conversation exactly what the accusations are that drew the conclusion of imminent harm and immediate removal of the children from the Parents and from the Grandparents.
— It appears that the Parents and Grandparents participation has already been discontinued if it ever was actively sought during the reunification process.
— It does appear that Parents and Grandparents have actively participated in every condition asked of them. There is nothing that shows they have not fully participated when asked to do so by the court or by Child Protective Services.
Court issues a gag order
To add insult to injury, the Shoars, who are originally from Minnesota, said that in December a state judge issued what amounts to a “gag order,” instructing them not to talk to the media and to others about the ongoing case.
Don Naylor, producer for The Robert Scott Bell show, said he and Bell interviewed the Shoals on Wednesday, and that the couple was taken aback after being informed recently about the order.
“As it stands right now, they’re basically being bullied and intimidated by CPS because people are aware of the situation” and have been making their opposition known to the court, Naylor told Natural News.
“They’re being strong-armed… and the judge and CPS are trying to get them to stop talking because, obviously, they don’t want people to know what’s going on,” he added.
In addition, according to an email provided to Natural News, an Arizona detective is requesting that Genesis Communications Network, which syndicates Bell’s program, be subpoenaed for the audio file of the Shoars interview.