Authorities are on the lookout for two adults who have fled the state of South Carolina together with their biological children. The problem at the heart of this search is the fact that the duo left with their children without legal custody rights, which has put them at odds with the law.
According to the details shared by the Marian County Sheriff’s Department, the parents have been identified as Leslie and Barbara Clemens. The two are parents to four children who are minor. These have been identified as Leslie IV aged 12, Brady aged 10, Deborah Hattie Jean aged 8 and Patricia Carly aged 3.
The Sheriff’s Department issued an alert and also published a Facebook post about the parents earlier this month. According to this post, the couple does not have the legal custody of the children they have fled with. It is believed that they have fled to avoid court action in the state of South Carolina.
Following this turn of events, a South Carolina Family Court Judge has ruled that the couple must be located at the earliest. The judge also ruled that once the minor children are located, they must be taken into protective custody.
Preliminary investigations by the Sheriff’s Department show that Leslie and Barbara Clemens have probably traveled up the east coast with their four children without legal custody rights. It is also believed that the two may be trying to get to South Dakota.
According to South Carolina laws, parental rights may be legally terminated for a number of reasons. These include abuse or neglect of a child by a parent that may affect the child’s safety or wellbeing. In addition, parental rights may be terminated for willfully failing to visit a child for 6 months and a whole host of other reasons. It isn’t unclear what caused the parents in this case to lose their custody rights. The services of a South Carolina child custody lawyer may be required to help settle this case.