A multi-state manhunt is underway for a woman on the run with her boyfriend and eight children after the kids were spirited out of a foster care facility in Queens, New York, on Monday.
New York City police detectives are working with SLED investigators in South Carolina looking for Shanel Nadal, 28, and her longtime boyfriend, John Nephra Payne, 34, and the eight children seven boys and one girl, who range in age from 1 to 11 years old.
The search is focusing in the Lowcountry. The couple is believed to have family ties in Charleston, Walterboro and Summerville, authorities said.
The state of New York removed the children from Nadal and Payne in 2009 following reports of child abuse and neglect, The New York Times reported.
The couple appeared on the verge of regaining custody when the abduction occurred Monday. Nadal reportedly sent a text message to one of the foster parents saying she could not live without her children any longer. She reportedly feared that her parental rights were about to be stripped.