Eight years after the disappearance of Miguel Morin, his mother looks forward to reuniting with her son.
Morin, now eight, went missing in 2004 when he was eight months old. He is now in foster care in the Houston area while the investigation continues. The boy's former babysitter has been arrested based on evidence that she abducted him and raised him as her own son.
It's kind of hard to believe, Morin's mother, Auboni Champion-Morin, told The Associated Press. Some of these cases take years and years, and sometimes they don't come back. It was overwhelming.
Miguel's parents agreed to provide DNA to confirm that the boy is theirs. They have not yet seen a recent picture of Miguel and do not know when they will be able to see him, according to The AP.
The former babysitter, 26-year-old Krystle Rochelle Tanner, was a friend of Champion-Morin's and Miguel's godmother. Police identified her as a suspect following the boy's disappearance, but lost track of her.
Miguel's parents were frustrated that the case was not intensely investigated from the beginning.
Victor Senties, a spokesperson for the Houston Police Department, told The AP the department is now investigating why the case was closed in 2006.
Tanner was discovered last summer when she took Miguel to the hospital to be treated for a leg injury. Suspicion arose after she was unable to provide the boy's name or Social Security number. Hospital staff then contacted child welfare investigators.
Tanner gave authorities different names for the boy and told them she was asked to keep him for an extended period of time for a woman she met in a park. She said she did not know the woman's last name and initially only had a cellphone number to contact her, but the number had been disconnected, Gary Cunningham, chief deputy of the San Augustine Sheriff's Department, told The AP.
Sheriff's deputies began investigating the case as a missing child's case in January. However, Child Protective Services and law enforcement did not know about the 2004 Houston kidnapping because the case had been removed from the national database of missing children.
Tanner was arrested Monday and admitted to keeping the boy off the radar by not sending him to school. The next day, Tanner's sister turned over the boy after seeing reports of the arrest, Cunningham told The AP.
Tanner is expected to appear in court next week and does not yet have an attorney.
This is my child, not her child, Champion-Morin said.
Miguel has five siblings that are also anxious to see their brother.
Experts have said that the child may be frustrated upon reuniting with his family because he will be meeting people that are complete strangers to him. He has seen the woman who kidnapped him as his mother since infancy.
Obviously this is a joyous time for mom, but this child has probably been delivered quite a jolt, Bob Lowery of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children told The AP.