Abducted boy, parents ordered to undergo psychological evaluations
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- It's official -- the young boy recently found living near Lufkin is the same boy who was abducted from Houston when he was just an infant eight years ago. But it could still be a while before the boy is reunited with his real parents, if that happens at all.
We learned in court Wednesday that the 8-year-old boy at the center of this story has no clue that he was kidnapped. He has no idea there's an ongoing legal battle surrounding his custody. And he's had little education to date; a psychologist testified he functions below a kindergarten level.
We also learned in court that DNA tests confirm Fernando Morin is the boy's biological father. Auboni Champion-Morin, who claims she's his mother, took her DNA test on Wednesday. And though the couple fought to see him, the judge denied the request for now.
Auboni Champion-Morin told us, "I can be a very patient woman. I've been patient this long."
When we asked her if she would like to see her son, but could wait to tell him she's his mom, she replied, "Yes. That's what's best for my child."
Biological father Fernando Morin said, "I understand it a little bit because he's just a child and he don't really know what's going on. He's been lied to his whole life. So coming up to it this way, it'd be hard."
A psychologist testified that the boy may not be ready to learn the truth and that he needs psychological counseling ahead of being told the only family he's known and the woman he calls mom are not his.
"We're talking about a little boy. He's 8 years old, but maturity wise and even intellectually he's only a 6 year old. And his whole world as he knows it will be turned upside down," said CPS spokesperson Estella Olguin.
What he'll learn is that he was reported kidnapped in 2004, that the search for him ended in 2006, and only a few months ago did investigators learn he was living with Krystle Tanner turned in east Texas. She was a babysitter for the Morins. Tanner has since been arrested.
And while the Morins argued that they could see the boy without telling him the truth just yet, the judge decided to wait.
"It's very difficult because this child, as I understand it, is not aware he was kidnapped. He's not aware that he has a real biological set of parents out there," said Itze Soliz-Matthews, attorney for Morin family.
There is another hearing scheduled for March 28 and that's when we'll learn the DNA test results for Auboni Champion-Morin and learn more about when she and her husband may be reunited with that 8-year-old boy.
The judge also ruled that the parents should undergo a psychological evaluation before they possibly meet the boy.
CPS is continuing its investigation to be certain that the Morins are fit to be parents, if the court were to award them custody. An agency spokesperson confirms that Auboni Champion-Morin had five other children. One of them is deceased. The other four are living with an acquaintance of Champion-Morin and have for some time.
local, tom abrahams
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