A man and woman in Pennsylvania accused of taking their eight children from a Queens foster care agency will have an extradition hearing next week, and a lawyer for the family has claimed one of the children was sexually abused while in foster care.
Shanel Nadal, 28, and Nephra Payne, 34, seen above, were arrested Monday night and are facing kidnapping, custodial interference and child endangerment charges.
U.S. marshals found the couple and their children in Harrisburg, Pa., inside a dark van with no license plates, and it appears the family had been sleeping inside the van.
Nadal and Payne had reportedly lost custody of the children a few years ago over allegations they were being abused, according to sources.
However, a lawyer for the family said the parents were taking their children away from an environment of abuse, claiming one of the children was sexually abused while in foster care and the others were neglected as they were moved around from different foster homes.
When questioned by reporters in Harrisburg, Nadal claimed would only say the "foster system" was to blame for the abuse.
Investigators say last week the mother took her seven boys and the couple's 11-month-old daughter during a supervised visit at the Forestdale Agency in Forest Hills, Queens.
Police said on Tuesday the children were okay and in protective services.
Administration for Children's Services officials said in a statement Tuesday that they are aware of the abuse allegations and took them seriously, but that they were focused on the well-being of the children.