“Send a message to America for me. Children don’t belong to the government. The government belongs to the people.”
The words spoken as dramatic photos were snapped of Erica Carey, 29, as Child Protective Services removed her three children from her after the family went on the run.
According to the Daily Mail, Erica Carey and common law husband Cleve Goheen-Rengo, who claim to live a “holistic Christian lifestyle”, were spotted in California on Thursday, more than a week after they fled with their twin babies and toddler son from their Washington state home as CPS was on the way to remove the children. On January 28, CPS arrived at the family’s home to remove Moran Kai, Daniel, and Levi amid concerns over the children’s health, but the family was gone.
Erica and Cleve made headlines late last year after they spoke with website MedicalKidnap. The report claimed that the state was trying to take their children because the twins were born at an unassisted home birth and for breastfeeding. The article was viewed over one million times and outraged many in the natural parenting community. However, CPS and the police say there is more to the story.
“Rumors have circulated that the removal of the Rengo children was due to breastfeeding or their home births. Those rumors are false. Breastfeeding and home birthing are not factors that would cause CPS to take children from a home. Their removal from the home was based on factors unrelated to a home birth or breastfeeding.”
Officials claim that the twins were deemed underweight and that the couple refused medical treatments for their children. The reports also note concerns over Cleve’s “controlling” tendencies towards Erica as well as the mental health of his father who lived with the family and suffered from bi-polar disorder. Back in November, the children were removed after their oldest child, Levi, developed pneumonia and ear infections.
The children were returned to the family in December after a commissioner noted that they deserved a “second chance.” He said he could see the “love you both have for your children” and allowed the family to have the children back if they worked with CPS to make the home more stable for the children. They could continue to treat their children with holistic medicine as long as they did so while consulting a physician. The couple agreed but, according to CPS, did not follow through. Therefore, the children were to be removed for the second time on January 28 when the family fled.
Over a week after they disappeared from their Washington home, the couple was spotted at a gas station in Santa Cruz, California. The police arrived with CPS to remove the children, however, Erica did not go quietly. She began screaming at the police, headbutting an officer and kicking them while she begged Jesus for help. She was immediately arrested with media crews filming.
She then shouted to reporters, “Send a message to America for me!”
“Children don’t belong to the government. The government belongs to the people.”
The children are currently in CPS custody, and Erica is waiting her trial for attacking the officers. See the dramatic photos of the encounter below.
[Images Credit: KSWB]