Parents Arraigned in Abduction Case

A Manhattan couple charged with abducted their eight children during a supervised visit to a Forest Hills foster care center, was arraigned on three charges last Thursday.

Shanel Nadal, 28, and Nephra Payne, 34, were arraigned on charges of second-degree kidnapping, first and second-degree custodial interference and endangering the welfare of a child. They were each being held on $75,000 bail.

Nadal allegedly took their seven sons, all named Nephra with different middle names, and infant daughter, Nefertiti, from the foster care and fled to Pennsylvania on September 19th because they reportedly believed that the children were being abused by their caretakers.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said that the two parents put their children’s lives at risk when they allegedly kidnapped them.

“Now that the defendants have been returned to Queens County they must face the consequences of their alleged actions,” Brown said. This mother and father sadly risked the relationship they were building with their children during supervised visits when they allegedly kidnaped them. This is a serious matter.”

The couple’s attorney, Norman Steiner told the Associated Press that the couple took their kids because they could no longer wait for the Family Court system to give them back their children. Steiner added that one boy was molested while in foster care and his siblings were abused during two years in foster care.

“They are loving, caring parents, who made a choice — the lesser of two evils — to take their children and make them safe,” Steiner said.

The three charges were arraigned in Queens Criminal Court and are set to return to court on Friday, October 25.


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