Grandparents Arrested for Kidnapping Their Grandson
This story is sad and I wish I knew more details.

In Surprise, AZ, police arrested Robert and Bonnie Embrey after raiding their home. They kidnapped thier grandson, 11 year old Travis, in May 2004 and fled from Bakersfield, CA to Arizona. They are charged with kidnapping and are awaiting extradition back to Bakersfield. They were apparently homeschooling the boy in order to escape detection.

The story raises more questions for me than it answers. The boy they kidnapped is their own grandson. They have legal guardianship of him. But his mother also has court ordered, unsupervised visitation with his mother, something the grandparents have attempted to reverse. They fled the state with their grandson after the judge refused to reverse the decision. Although they left in May, warrants weren't issued until September. Clearly, there was no real concern that the boy was in any danger. It leaves a sick feeling in my stomach. Is the state better prepared to decide what is best for young Travis than the grandparents who have been entrusted with his care?

I don't know any more about the case than is presented in this brief article, but I also know from experience what kinds of things it normally takes for a child to be permanently removed from biological parents and placed formally in the custody of another. I can only imagine what the grandparents may fear for the eleven year old, prompting them to move out of state, move at least four times, homeschool him and try to escape detection while doing what they think is best for him.

Of course, I have the same kinds of torn feelings when biological parents kidnap their own children from the foster care system...and probably would if the mother in this case had been the one to take off with the boy. It is a situation with no easy answers. I respect law and order and am not one to go around advising people to defy court orders. But I also sympathize greatly with the grandparents in this case who, at the moment, appear to have taken great sacrifice to protect their grandson from harm at whatever expense to themselves.

And what will happen to Travis? I'm sure he is a ward of the state now.

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