EXCLUSIVE: Parents Who Abducted 8 Kids From Queens Foster Care Tell Their Story

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The parents who snatched their eight children from foster care in Queens are speaking out. The couple, who set off a nationwide manhunt, beat the charges after spending two months behind bars.

On Tuesday, they spoke with CBS 2’s Christine Sloan in an exclusive interview to let people know why they did it.

“How do you kidnap your own children?” asked Shanel Nadal.

That’s what Nadal and her husband, Nephra Payne, were accused of doing — stealing their eight biological children from a foster care facility in Queens.

“I did nothing wrong. I love my babies so much. They’re all I got in this world, nothing else matters,” Nadal said.

The Hollywood-like escape set off a nationwide manhunt that ended in Harrisburg, Pa., when federal agents descended on their van.

It all began a week earlier when the couple, knowing all of their children would be together in one place during a planned, unsupervised visit, decided to snatch them.

“We went straight out of the front of the agency,” Nadal said.

They didn’t have much of a plan after that. They drove to South Carolina, hoping to stay with family. Then they went to Pennsylvania while spending a week on the run.

“I did that for my babies,” Nadal said.

The couple claims some of their sons were being physically, as well as sexually, abused in foster care. They said they had no choice and had to protect them.

“Me and my wife was there — we created them and I felt that was our personal responsibility,” Payne said.

The Administration for Children’s Services wouldn’t comment on the abuse allegations and said it received no complaints. The children were put into foster care in 2009 so it could investigate allegations of abuse against the couple, according to the agency.

Sloan: “Did you hurt those children?”

Nadal: “Did nothing but love our children — like really love them.”

Payne said ACS took their kids after a simple trip to the emergency room came as a result of two of their children getting into a fight.

“I felt they’re kidnapping my children and there is nothing I can do,” Nadal said.

But the couple said they would do it again. They said the seven days they were reunited with their children were “beautiful.”

“They kept kissing me…that was all I needed,” Nadal said.

In the end, the feds tracked them down through their credit cards. They spent more than two months in jail, but it could have been life. Now that they’re out, they said they just want custody of their kids.

“They can take everything in the world away — just give me my babies back. That’s all I need and then I will have my light back,” Nadal said.

The couple will be in court on Dec. 15 to try and get visitation rights back and eventually, their attorney said, full custody. For now, they remain in foster care.

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Comments

One Comment

  1. So sad says:

    Jesus Christ, someone has to get those kids back to her. How can humans be so cruel. How can a hospital determine abuse? This makes no sense. There was no jury, no trial! How do they know anything!!! They can not do this!!!

  2. Sherrilynn Durham says:

    People just show their ignorance when they make comments like “CPS doesn’t take children for NO reason”.

    If you believe that CPS makes mistakes, and leaves kids in abusive homes, and doesn’t intervene when they should, then you should logically believe that they make mistakes in the OTHER DIRECTION.

    Especially with news coverage constantly focusing on situations where CPS did not remove a child and it lead to tragedy. Think logically here; if you were in charge of a child protective services office, wouldn’t you want to err on the side of caution and REMOVE kids more often after all that negative news coverage?

    Of course you would, and of COURSE this would lead to more unnecessary removals!

    The problem is that the trauma resulting from removal is minimize or not acknowledged at all.

    So, no one can or should be commenting without knowing all the facts and details, at least not commenting to say stupid things about their tax dollars or that surely these kids NEEDED to be taken, etc.

    It just makes you look like a loudmouthed, ignorant fool.

  3. little david says:

    THIS IS A MESSAGE TO EVERY PARENT THAT YES IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU OR YOUR RELATIVES TOOO…..THE THIEF COMETH TO …..

    THIS SO CALL ACS…HATES FAMILIES …. THEY KIDNAPPED MY BOY RAPED HIM BROKE HIS SKULL AND COLLARBONE…..THEN WHEN HE STARTED CRYING FOR HIS MAMIE AND DADDY THEY PLACED MY 5YEAR OLD ON PSYCHIATRIC MEDICATION…AND BILLED MY PRIVATE INSURANCE………MERCYFIRST FOSTERCARE…THEIR MEDICAL DIRECTOR DOCTOR WHOSE LICENSE WAS SUSPENDED IN 1999- DR JAMES HORNE lcheck.——A QUEENS FAMILY COURT CASE JUDGE LINDA TALLY PART 46 PRESIDING/COVERING UP
    ACS COVERING UP….. .HIDING MY SON FROM OUR ENTIRE FAMILY …NO ONE GETS TO SEE HIM…….BEEN CRYING OUT FOR HELP…..NN TO MEET U
    see article STEPHEN ALLEN JR—–FRAUD FORENSIC-FURY AT FOSTER ABUSE–KIDNAPPER OF MY SON—NO MERCY WITH MERCY FIRST FOSTERCARE—-I WANT MY SON BACK JAMAICAN OBSERVER
    MY EMAIL IS smorri6@hofstra.edu

    ADDITIONALLY; A MESSAGE TO ALL YOU FOSTERMOTHERS….DONT BE AN ACCOMPLIST TO THE FRAUD IN THE SYSTEM…TELL THEM KEEP THEIR DIRTY MONEY GIVE US OUR KIDS GIVE SHANEL PAYNE HER BABIES …MS KING GIVE ME MY SON….THAT MONEY IS NOT BLESS….

  4. Lori says:

    I would love to see a full nation wide investigation of DHS, CPS or what ever it is called in different area. They are taking many children from their parents unjustly refusing to reunite families and denying family members custody. They leave at risk children and take children who should be with their families. This is done because of the billions of dollars pumped into the system from social security. Families can adopt these kids and continue to get large subsidies until they are 18 and in some states longer. The government needs to stop the tax credits and large subsidies children should be loved not be a paycheck.

  5. Richard Wexler says:

    Actually, ACS can and does take away children for little or no reason all the time – even as the agency leaves other children in dangerous homes.

    Did that happen here? Under state law, ACS actually does have the right to tell it’s side of the story. When it refuses, it is stonewalling – which makes the initial removal suspect.

    Furthermore, ACS is now denying the children all contact with their parents – that’s punishing the children for whatever mistakes the parents made, doing those children even more harm. It suggests ACS is more interested in “payback” for what the parents’ did than in actually helping the children.

    There is much more about ACS in these posts to my organization’s Child Welfare Blog, which can be found through a Google search, since including the actual link may have prevented an earlier version of this comment from being posted.

    Richard Wexler
    Executive Director
    National Coalition for Child Protection Reform

    1. Jack Slade says:

      One of this
      country’s most famous child welfare experts who likes to post on DOK has ties also to Penn St during the time that Sandusky was coaching there.

      Richard Wexler is purported to be an “expert” on child welfare, has
      books, and has even been called to testify before congress on the subject.

      However, Wexler is now on the record as saying that most child accusers are
      lying, is against mandatory reporting of allegations of abuse, and is on the
      record as saying that children should be left in the home, abuse or not.

      Mr. Wexler is also on the record as opposing the Texas DHS pulling the children
      out of the FLDS compound run by Warren Jeffs.

      Isn’t that right, Richard

  6. Shanel Payne says:

    Had the news played the entire interview u would have known exactly why our children were removed but since it is not on here ill tell you exactly what happen. March 27, 2009 my oldest son and middle son where fighting over a video game which resulted in my oldest son getting poked in the eye by his younger brother. We took our son immediately to the hospital and the eye doctor and on March 29th my son went to school and was kidnapped that day by ACS. Acs removed my children from the school we had absolutely no idea what was going on until the end of the day when myself and my son Rahsul came to pick my older 4 sons up. At that time I was told that acs had my boys and that my husband, who was out with our 2 youngest sons shopping had to bring them to the school or an amber alert would be called on him. We never had any acs involvment before that so they could of handeled us better than that. I dont wish what my family and I have gone through on my worst enemy!

    1. acarey says:

      Wow, I’m sorry that this has happend to your family.The good news is with all the attention your case has received ACS will be held to a higher standard of proving that you and your husband should not regain custody of your kids.When i saw your story a few months back it occured to me that bad parents don’t really fight that hard to get their children back and that although the way you guys did it was wrong i felt there had to be more to the story,then the abuse of your son was brought out and i understood how you could be so upset that you made that desperate choice.your kids are beautiful and i really hope this thing gets resolved in the favor of your family.and that you all live a happy and blessed life TOGETHER.

      1. FanOfPayneFamily says:

        OK let’s be honest…everyone who is a parent can be scornful of others parenting all because cps was involved, but parents tend to forget they’re not exempt, yes their are these little cover your butt jobs like going into child care, professions or becoming a foster parent, but those seem to be reserved for some who can be real devils and they use being a foster parent or childcare provider as the way to do their evil to children and get away with it, CPS ignores all reports of abuse towards children that are other than reports made on a parent, once you’re certified as child care provider or foster parent through them, you’re set for life, as long as you do what the case worker tells you to do with the kids whenever they show up or if they ever show up, all the rest it’s do whatever you want with the kids when they leave. If you were to report the child molestation to them, they would’ve stopped your visits to see your kids and your parental rights would’ve been fully terminated eventually and you’d never see them again. So what you did was right, how you did it was wrong, but honey me and my husband did the same thing as soon as cps got involved after a mandated report that also came from seeking emergency care, we trusted our gut instinct and we left and never looked back, and we went to the same place you did, and dealt with cps there, DMV and post office records don’t lie, you can’t stop living just because cps gets involved, I’m no cps fan but they did right by sending out a senior case worker to handle it, one who was very blunt, very honest and remained professional while doing it, something that they didn’t do where the case first opened up, never trust someone smiling while accusing you of the unthinkable, . never trust any of them, but the case worker i had searched my place in and out thoroughly after serious allegations, and the case closed and went unfounded. Once you have a case with them it follows you for years, I’m no psychic, but when it comes to blood, I have ESP when dealing with anyone outside of family. Trust no one, family is all you have at the end of the day and if you let someone come in and destroy your family, you deserve it, and blame yourself. Bad parents don’t fight for their kids they don’t even try. Continue fighting for your babies.

  7. Surfin Bird says:

    donestn make any sense

  8. acarey says:

    i’m wondering why exactly the children were taken.that would help.I’v been a new york city parent for over 12 years and have never had my kids taken. they’ve been to the emergency room no social workers have been to visit.this makes me think that there is much more to the story.I must say that although this story is a bad one it’s a little encouraging to see that the parents are making attempts to reunite the family and not leave those children in the foster care system.For the sake of the children i hope things work out,the parents comply with children’s services and their bad choices are fixed in a way that makes them a functional family

  9. Slitzy Yztils says:

    It would be more of a “story” if we were told EXACTLY WHY the kids were taken. I agree that many gvt agencies involved in child welfare are not well run, but really…Do you think they took all those kids away from these two for NO reason? I imagine the abuse/neglect was extremely clear, though I am just assuming.

    If you really want to read a horrid story of what happens when the child IS NOT removed from the abusive situation…read up on the case of the little Phx, AZ girl who is still missing. Her mother surely killed her, but the police need more evidence. It is such a tragedy. The mother should be executed in a most painful way.

    I wish people had to get a license to have kids.

    1. Deborah Parks says:

      THERE IS NOTHING THESE PEOPLE COULD HAVE DONE TO PUT THEIR CHILDREN MORE AT RISK THAN THEY ARE WITH CPS. Give these people back their children and help them take care of them!!! GIVE EVERY MOTHER BACK HER CHILDREN AND FIX THE SYSTEM THAT CREATES THE EMOTIONAL AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS THAT MOTHERS HAVE RAISING THEIR CHILDREN BY THEMSELVES! These people are a FAMILY!!! Leave them alone, or help them out! IT USE TO BE NECESSARY TO HAVE SO MAY CHILDREN TO run the farm, pick cotton, whatever, NOW, IT SHOULDN’T BE AGAINST THE LAW TO HAVE CHILDREN AND TAKE CARE OF THEM!!! i WOULD MUCH RATHER HELP PEOPLE TAKE CARE OF THEIR CHILDREN THAN TAKE THEIR CHILDREN AWAY FROM THEM AND PUT THEM IN “PROTECTIVE?” CUSTODY OR GIVE THEM TO STRANGERS! Does anyone KNOW HOW THIS MAKES THE CHILDREN FEEL? DOES ANYONE ELSE CARE. How many times does this scenario have to REPLAY before the government social services learn THEY ARE NOT IN CHARGE OF OUR FAMILIES AND OUR CHILDREN. ISN’T THIS ONE OF THE REASONS THERE WAS A BRITISH WAR? GIVE US BACK THE RIGHTS OUR FOREFATHERS FOUGHT FOR! If you’re going to be in charge, you damn well better know what you’re doing, and YOU DON’T! GIVE US BACK OUR BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS! GIVE US BACK OUR CHILDREN!!! love to all…

    2. Deborah Parks says:

      I wish people wouldn’t try to be judges, juries and executioners WITHOUT ANY FACTS or justification for their opinions or actions. THAT IS JUST WHAT CPS DOES, in EVERY STATE, EVERY PROVIDENCE, EVERY COUNTRY AROUND THE WORLD! More children have been abused and died in the PRESENT “child protection system” than all of the child injuries, abuse, death by parent -ANYWHERE, EVERYWHERE AROUND THE WORLD SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME! What some people now call ABUSE, used to be considered DISCIPLINE. Young people are out of control, hundreds of thousands in jail, millions addicted to (mostly pharmaceutical) drugs AND it’s because there is NO UNDERSTANDING OF what it takes to LIVE RIGHT, HAVE CONSEQUENCES FOR YOUR ACTIONS OR BE ACCOUNTABLE for your behavior. These people with “child protection services” are as out of control as people who are IN JAIL, and that is where many of them should be. GIVE CHILDREN MORE RIGHTS? You can punish the majority for the sins of the minority – THAT IS WHAT IS HAPPENING right now, and things will just get worse. HELP PARENTS FIGURE OUT WHAT THE PROBLEMS ARE WITH THE FAMILY UNIT, DON’T DESTROY IT! Many problems have multiplied since the Bush administration cut social services that HELP PEOPLE get through hard times, now there are social services that CREATE HARD TIMES AND DON’T HELP ANYONE! The banks are out of control, big business corporate executives are out of control and CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES ARE OUT OF CONTROL and you want to judge, condemn and hang one mother who’s child has disappeared, without ANY INVESTIGATION INTO THE SITUATION SURROUNDING HER LIFE? I’m sorry, but, SOCIETY CREATES US, no matter how hard our parents try, the schools try, churches try, but the REAL STORY IS you become whatever your SURROUNDINGS CREATE, and the governmental system relationship with big business, profit and GREED is what has created the SOCIETY WE LIVE IN… SO, FIX THAT before you condemn ANYONE TO DIE. GIVE US BACK OUR BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS! GIVE US BACK OUR CHILDREN!!! love to all…

  10. Joe Schmo says:

    MY tax dollars! MY tax dollars! MY tax dollars!

    (kicking and screaming)

    MY GOD DAMMN TAX DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. josephine gonzalez says:

    also please chrsitina sloan get in touch with us ..we have a story same as the paynes …I think the public should hear

  12. josephine gonzalez says:

    I would like to meet the paynes what they did was what a parent should do is protect those children ..dealing with a ACS is a corrupt system that me and my family know very well …in fact our case is the same as yours and would love to meet you …continue to fight for those kids against the family court system ..and get in touch with us

    1. Shanel Payne says:

      We would love to meet with you. We know first hand how ACS trys to destroy families. Before this happen to me I thought this couldn’t and wouldn’t ever happen to our family especially as hard as we works to keep our children and home in order. Please leave your information in my email account and we will certainly contact you as soon as possible. sheshaz@yahoo.com

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