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Colorado couple charged with collecting support for missing boys

A couple who lived near Colorado Springs between 1999 and 2005 but now live in Dallas, Texas, have been charged by authorities for theft and forgery after allegedly collecting child support for two of their adopted children who have been missing for nearly a decade. The couple has reportedly received $175,000 in support from the government during the time the boys have been missing.

In January, two of the couple's former foster children contacted authorities about inconsistencies in the story of how the two boys went missing. The father apparently claimed that the younger of the boys ran away in 2001 and the older in 2003. The mother, however, reportedly said they both ran away in 2003. No missing person reports were ever filed in the case.

When investigators interviewed another adopted child, they heard disturbing tales of neglect and abuse. The boy told them the parents would refuse to feed one of the missing boys as a form of punishment, causing him to eat from the garbage can. The child also said they spanked the young boy frequently and rolled him tightly in blankets as a form of restraint. They may have even handcuffed him.

The couple, who is now separated, is being held in a Colorado Springs jail. Bail has been set at $1 million for each of them. Neither of the adoptive parents has been charged in their sons' disappearances. The mother denied most accusations of abuse, but Texas officials have taken custody of the five children who were living with her.

Investigators are continuing to search for the missing boys, but as time passes, they say the likelihood of finding them is slim.

Source

San Jose Mercury News: "Colo. authorities search for Texas couple's 2 boys," Dan Elliott and Catherine Tsai, 10 March 2011

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