HOUSTON – An 8-year-old boy police who was allegedly abducted by his godmother in Houston when he was just a baby was being held in a group foster home Thursday while CPS officials work to sort out the details of the complicated case.
CPS officials described Miguel Morin as well-mannered and healthy. But, they said he believes his name is Dequan, doesn’t know his last name, thinks he is 6 and not 8, believes the alleged abductor – Krystle Tanner – is his mother, and has never been to school.
Miguel’s biological mother, Auboni Champion-Morin, reported her then-8-month-old son missing to HPD in November of 2004.
Champion-Morin told investigators that Tanner, Miguel’s godmother, had been babysitting the boy. But when Champion-Morin returned to get him, she said Miguel, his clothes and Tanner were nowhere to be found.
HPD investigated the case and named Tanner as the suspect, but the case was closed in 2006, because investigators couldn’t determine the exact date the child disappeared.
In 2007, Miguel’s name was removed from the missing person’s list, because the case was closed.
At that time, there was no one officially looking for the boy.
Then, in August of 2011, investigators said Tanner moved to San Augustine County.
While living there, she and her boyfriend became the suspects of a CPS investigation for neglectful supervision.
Investigators said one of the victims was an unidentified 8-year-old child. But CPS officials said they had trouble finding him, because Tanner provided false information about his identity and location.
In January of 2012, CPS contacted the San Augustine County Sheriff’s Office to help with a criminal investigation concerning the unidentified child.
"It was very difficult because we were essentially searching for a ghost," Chief Deputy Gary Cunningham, of the San Augustine County Sheriff’s Office, said.
Investigators said when they questioned Tanner about the case, she said she got the boy from another woman, who she met in a public park in another county. Investigators said Tanner told them the woman gave her the boy to babysit, and that she’d only had him for one night.
She provided investigators with a phone number for the woman, but the number didn’t work, according to deputies.
The investigation continued, and on March 7, 2012, CPS identified the boy as Miguel, and his mother as Auboni Champion-Morin.
Investigators said CPS made the connection after finding the 2004 HPD report.
Tanner was arrested on Monday, March 12.
She was still being held in jail in San Augustine County Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile, in Houston, Champion-Morin was at the Harris County Courthouse Thursday morning, anxiously awaiting news on when she would get to see her long-lost son.
Champion-Morin and Miguel’s father submitted DNA samples to investigators.
Officials said there’s a chance they could have supervised visits with the boy between now and the next court hearing, scheduled for March 28, 2012.
"I prayed every night that he was safe, loved and he would come home one day," Champion-Morin said. "I want to hold him in my arms and let him know who I am. I hope he can feel the same thing I feel for him."