BRIGHT, Ind. - Several adopted children have been removed from the Indiana home where a 16-year-old was allegedly abducted early Monday morning.
Dearborn Co. Prosecuter Aaron Negangard confirmed to 9 News that seven children were removed from the custody of Erik and Penny Balsley at their house located in the 2400 block of Vineyard Court in Bright, Ind., Thursday night. The Indiana Division of Family and Children removed the children from the home and placed them into a medical facility following allegations of abuse, Negangard said.
One of the children older than 18 was not removed from the home. Erik and Penny have a total of eight adopted children from ages 5 to 18 with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities.
A neighbor near the Balsley house said officials and caseworkers from the Division of Family and Children came to the house Thursday night at about 6:30 p.m. and the children were removed by about 10 p.m. Officials also removed several guns from the residence.
9 News talked with a spokesperson from the Division of Family and Children, but they declined to comment.
Sonya Balsley, 16, told officials she was abducted from the backyard of the house on Monday. Emergency responders found Sonya in a creek bed in the 2700 block of Sneakville Road in Bright, Ind., less than two miles from her home and almost 20 hours after her disappearance.
Deputies along with Bright Fire and EMS, Greendale Fire and EMS, and the Miller-York Fire Department, searched the area for Sonya Monday night and continued Tuesday morning. At about 5 a.m. Tuesday, deputies returned to the home after the family spotted the word "woods" written on condensation on the window of Sonya's bedroom.
Penny told officials that the family had been receiving threats at their home in recent weeks after a conflict with another relative who used to live in the home.
"Sonya said that he told her that if she told anything she knew about his life that he had friends who would drag her into the woods, kill her and no one would ever find her body. For about six days, we've had a countdown in the backyard," said Erik when 9 News interviewed him Tuesday .
Detective Shane McHenry told 9 News deputies have responded to the home multiple times in the last six weeks for reports of threats and harassment, but he did not elaborate on the reports or who was being harassed.
Officials have not yet said if there is a connection between Sonya’s disappearance and the allegations of abuse.
9 News approached Erik at his home Friday and he said he had no comment and posted a sing on his front door that a press conference would be scheduled later.
Stay with 9 News and WCPO.com for updates as they become available.
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