Seven special needs children have been removed from a home and the adoptive caretakers have been arrested.
The malnourished children were locked in one room filled with feces and urine and wore dirty, ragged clothes. The children were adopted through Child Protective Services years ago and the caretakers have been receiving large monthly payments.
A spokesman for CPS said the last adoption was in 2004. There was another child who was seven-years-old when he died in 2011. A background check and home study investigation is required and a judge had to sign off on the adoption.
The room where the teenagers, age 13 to 16, were kept was used as a storage room, the Houston Chronicle reported. The room housed boxes and clothes and reeked of human waste. The Houston publication reported that the caretakers live in a 4,000 square foot $400,000 house in the Long Meadow Farms subdivision in Richmond, Texas.
The children were allegedly abused.
One of the children, a boy, has Downs Syndrome and was wearing a dirty diaper when law enforcement officers rescued him from the foster home, NewsFix CW39 reported.
The children have never been taken to school while in 54-year-old Paula Sinclair’s, or 78-year-old Allen Richardson’s care. The pair, who are not married, were arrested Saturday and have been charged with aggravated kidnapping and injury to a child. Three disabled adult men were also living in the residence. The adults were also subject to their care.
Bob Haenel, a media spokesman for the Fort Bend Sheriff’s Office told Breitbart Texas that their lead detective said the aggravated kidnapping charges are based on the pair not allowing the victim children their freedom, holding them in a place where they are unlikely to be found while having the intent to inflict bodily injury or to terrorize them or a third person.
The sheriff office spokesman added, “As for the adults in the house, it is my understanding that Adult Protective Services will be taking care of them.”
Fort Bend County officials say they are not sure at this point if more charges will be filed. Sinclair and Richardson are in the Fort Bend County jail and the judge set a bond of $200,000 each.
Patrick Crimmins, spokesman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services told Breitbart Texas that depending on the needs of the children, the monthly adoption assistance payments range from $400 to $545. “The payments are a mix of state and federal funds, and the combination has changed over the years. Currently, the federal government pays 56 percent of adoption assistance and the State pays the rest.”
The payments continue until a child turns 18.
The payments to Sinclair were terminated when the children were removed by Child Protective Services on November 23.
The Chronicle reported that Paula Sinclair divorced her husband Larry Sinclair in 2010 and a court ordered him to give her $600 every month in child support. She and Larry Sinclair adopted the children when they were married. Paula Sinclair married Richardson a few months after the divorce. Sinclair may have been getting over $52,000 annually for caring for the children. The Chronicle reported she also started a charity called “We of Faith Mission” to help pay for caring for the children. Sinclair told them, “I feel like this is what God called me to do, to take care of these babies.”
A court hearing in Fort Bend County was held on Tuesday and the judge ordered the children to be placed in foster care.