Missouri Christian boarding school founder and wife charged with kidnapping after reports of runaways

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The laminitis of a Christian boys' boarding schoolhouse successful agrarian Missouri and his woman person been charged pinch first-degree kidnapping pursuing reports of runaways and allegations of maltreatment astatine nan facility.

Larry Charles Musgraves Jr., 57, and his woman Carmen Grizel Musgraves, 64, were arrested Friday, nan Wayne County Sheriff’s Department said successful a news release. 

Both worked astatine ABM Ministries Lighthouse Christian Academy, a backstage Christian boarding schoolhouse successful Piedmont, Missouri, that serves boys aged 10 to 13, nan sheriff's section said. Musgraves is nan laminitis and pastor of ABM Ministries, according to his LinkedIn page.

The 25,000-square-foot field sits connected 250 acres adjacent nan Ozarks and nan academy markets itself arsenic a typical field for troubled aliases “learning impaired” youth, according to the facility’s website. 

Piedmont is simply a agrarian metropolis successful southeastern Missouri, astir 130 miles southbound of St. Louis, pinch a organization of astir 1,900. 

The sheriff’s section had received respective calls regarding “runaways” from nan facility, and an investigation into nan boarding schoolhouse opened respective months ago, nan merchandise said.

The arrests travel a small complete a week aft The Kansas City Star published an article detailing really respective boys had tally distant from nan boarding schoolhouse since Jan. 13 this year. 

In nan investigation, Sheriff Finch was contacted by a erstwhile student and traveled to Albertville, Alabama, to question and reply nan victim. From there, Finch came into interaction pinch different erstwhile students and “interviews are distant coming.”

On Friday, nan sheriff's section arrived astatine nan boarding schoolhouse and each children were interviewed by section officers from Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control, officials said.

Larry Musgraves was located astatine his camper connected nan spot and arrested, nan merchandise said. His woman was arrested hours later erstwhile she showed up to nan sheriff's section to cheque connected her husband.

Authorities did not disclose what led them to complaint nan mates pinch kidnapping. The sheriff's section said "this investigation is acold from over" and much charges are anticipated arsenic "more alleged victims coming forward."

Reports of runaways and abuse

The Kansas City Star article published precocious February said a female named Cierra Osborn was stopped by 2 runaways from nan boarding school, aged 12 and 14, successful January. The boys had walked for miles without coats successful acold temperatures and asked that she telephone 911. 

Osborn described nan boys arsenic “terrified and shaking” and said they told her nan boarding schoolhouse unit would berate them and deed them for things for illustration failing to do their chores accelerated enough. 

Wayne County Sheriff Dean Finch told nan insubstantial that 5 boys had tally distant from nan schoolhouse since mid-January and person been “returned home.” 

Calls to ABM Ministries went unanswered Monday.

Missouri's Department of Social Services declined to remark whether they are investigating nan boarding school, citing authorities rule that says "information related to circumstantial kid maltreatment and neglect investigations is closed and confidential."

“When it comes to children, Sheriff Finch will time off nary chromatic unturned until each victims are interviewed. We cognize nan citizens are concerned arsenic good that thing was being done, nevertheless we can’t disclose what we are doing connected cases,” nan news merchandise said, while asking for patience.

Musgraves and his woman are being held astatine Wayne County Jail successful Greenville, Missouri, without bond. It's not instantly clear if they person retained lawyers.

Marlene Lenthang

Breaking News Reporter