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Escape from CAS
September 19, 2014 permalink
After most members of Lev Tahor fled to Guatemala, some were still being held in Ontario. On August 28 two teenaged Lev Tahor girls living in Spurgeon's Villa north of Chatham were discovered to be missing. The Chatham Daily News says that a week ago they fled to upstate New York where they were reunited with their father. Chatham children's aid will say nothing, the Chatham police report only that the girls are safe. It is unknown whether the girls are free to rejoin their community in Guatemala or whether Chatham CAS is trying to get them forcibly returned.
Lev Tahor girls were under care of CKCS
Two teenage girls who are members of the ultra-orthodox Jewish sect Lev Tahor have fled from foster care while under the care of the Chatham-Kent Children's Services.
Chatham-Kent police released a statement to The Chatham Daily News Friday that is it aware of the situation and that the girls are safe, but noted further information would have to come from CKCS, because it is their investigation.
Bonnie Wightman, CKCS senior director of service, said in written release that any child who is placed in the care of a children's aid society is generally done so through the Child and Family Services Act.
“The Act also mandates client confidentiality and privacy for any family that we are involved with so Chatham-Kent Children's Services is unable to provide you with any specifics concerning any children who may or may not be in our care,” Wightman said.
The Daily News has also tried to reach members of Lev Tahor.
According to media reports, the two girls, aged 15 and 17, fled to upstate New York last Friday where they were reunited with their father. They found refuge with an American lawyer and have been supported by Children's Services Niagara County.
Approximately 200 members of Lev Tahor arrived in Chatham-Kent last November after packing up the community in Ste. Agathe, Que., and leaving in the night after months of investigation by Quebec child protection authorities over allegations of neglect and child abuse.
QMI Agency reported in late August that about 60 members who had fled to Guatemala, were on the move again.
It was confirmed by CKCS that the last members of the group had left Spurgeon's Villa, the quiet rural enclave of duplexes north of Chatham, where they had been living.
“We went on a routine visit Thursday morning (Aug. 28) and discovered no one from Lev Tahor in any of the units they had rented,” said CKCS executive director Stephen Doig in a previous interview.
He noted their departure was unexpected, adding they left personal possessions and furniture behind.
Source: Chatham Daily News