AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – 5 minors of the Murphy Village community remain in the custody of South Carolina Department of Social Services.
On Tuesday, their families appeared for a second time at the Aiken Courthouse for Family Court.
All of the girls are between the ages of 6 and 13.
WJBF NewsChannel 6 has learned 2 of the children are sisters. A family member says the sisters have been split-up into to different foster homes.
A relative says Irish Travelers have hired a Civil Rights attorney. The community wants the federal government to recognize them as an established ethnic group.
Members of Murphy Village say they are being targeted by the state and that’s why their children were taken.
One family member told WJBF NewsChannel 6 they are going to be putting up signs in North Augusta saying ‘Free Our Kids’ and “Legal Kidnapping’ with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s phone number on them.
A spokesperson for Our Lady of Peace School in North Augusta tells WJBF NewsChannel 6 10 Irish Traveler children have been pulled ot of schools by their families. This is in addition to the 5 girls that were taken by D.S.S.Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest details on this developing story.
AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – WJBF NewsChannel 6 is learning more detail about a custody battle between the state of South Carolina and the Murphy Village community.
On Thursday, dozens of people who live in the Murphy Village Community were in family court at the Aiken County Courthouse. They were there to fight the South Carolina Department of Social Services.
WJBF NewsChannel 6 has learned six girls between the ages of 6 and 13 were taken from their homes in North Augusta.
Family members we spoke with say five of the girls are still in the state’s custody. One of the minors was released and is back with her family.
The families say they are outraged at the state for not giving them a reason why D.S.S. took the girls.
A family member WJBF NewsChannel 6 spoke with says the girls attend our Lady of Peace School in North Augusta and say that’s where D.S.S. showed up and removed them.
The families say they had no idea what has happening, until it was too late. The woman we spoke with says the families have not been given a reason why the girls were taken, but she says she believes its related to the RICO indictment of 22 Irish Travelers.
The families say for now they are allowed to see their children during supervised visitations, but have no idea when they will be reunited with their girls.
The families we spoke with say they are unsure of when they will have to reappear in court.Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest details on this developing story.