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Successful Rescue from Foster Care
July 25, 2010 permalink
Most attempts by parents to rescue their children from foster care end a few days later with police taking the children back and the parents facing criminal charges. Georgia mother Beulah Lorraine Miller found a way to do it successfully. She waited until her son was in an Oklahoma treatment facility, then posed as his foster mother and took him home. The staff found nothing unusual about an unfamiliar woman being a new foster mother. With the haphazard recordkeeping of DHS, no one noticed the missing boy for four months, and by that time he was safely out of state and the trail was cold. Nine months later another trick, maybe the same one, got her other son back. The incidents took place in 2006 and 2007, and the boys are still with their family in Georgia.
Brothers in foster care in Muskogee missing since 2006-2007
Two teenage brothers in foster care here were reported missing five months apart in 2007.
Michael Christopher Gross, who turned 18 in April, went missing Nov. 9, 2006, at the age of 14. He had been in a treatment center in Tulsa when he went missing, and the man who was Michael’s foster father said he believes Michael’s mother went to the treatment center to visit him and identified herself as the foster mother and took him.
Michael’s younger brother, Robert Mitcheall Gross, had lived in the same foster home as his brother. On Aug. 26, 2007, Robert, then 13, was reported missing by his foster mother. That report was made the same day he went missing.
A police report about Michael missing wasn’t made by a Department of Human Services worker until more than four months later, on March 15, 2007. DHS would give no information to explain why there was a delay in reporting Michael missing.
“We can’t comment on any particular case,” said DHS Public Information Officer Beth Scott.
The boys are believed to be with their birth mother in Georgia, but no one in Muskogee has reported hearing from them, police said. The mother, Beulah Lorraine Miller, had taken the children once before while they were in a foster home in Muskogee. They were found in Georgia with their uncle.
Scott said less than one percent of children in DHS custody go missing. On Wednesday, there were 59 children missing out of 7,972 in state DHS custody, Scott said.
The number of children in out-of-home care through DHS is dropping annually. There are over 1,000 fewer children in out-of-home care than there were in July of 2009, Scott said. More than 3,800 fewer children are in out-of-home care than there were in July of 2007, a 32 percent reduction in three years, she said.
When the report was filed stating Michael had left his foster home on Altamont Street in 2006, he had tuberculosis and had left his medicine. He also had a mood disorder, according to a police report.
The report mentioned Michael running away before and being found in Atlanta with family members.
Police were told the mother had at least 15 aliases, including: Sara White, Buelah Larane Miller, Daphne Jackson, Erica U. Brown, Buelah Miller, Tiffany L. Lee, Renee Gant and Diana Rosa Lee Frowner.
Miller was on probation in Georgia at the time her son went missing in 2006, police were told.
When Robert disappeared, the foster mother told police she was worried his biological mother had taken him. She told police the last time she saw him he was walking toward Fifth Street on the Sunday afternoon he disappeared.
OSBI Public Relations Officer Jessica Brown said the OSBI had never worked the case. She said they got the information on their Web site from The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Web site.
Source: Muskogee Phoenix