HOUSTON – A judge decided Wednesday that Miguel Morin, a Houston boy who was kidnapped eight years ago, will now be reunited with his siblings for good. The boy has been in foster care since authorities found him living in East Texas with his former babysitter, a woman he believed was his mother.
Miguel vanished in 2004 when he was abducted by Krystle Rochelle Tanner, his biological mother’s former friend who also lived in the same apartment complex. Police identified Tanner as a suspect shortly after the boy disappeared, but investigators soon lost track of her. Relatives said she had vanished, too.
Tanner raised Miguel as her own child, hiding him in homes in Central and East Texas and keeping him out of school, authorities say. She even changed the boy’s name several times to conceal his identity.
After years on the run, Tanner was forced to take Miguel to the hospital for a leg injury. She could not provide his name or Social Security number, which raised doubts among the hospital staff, who contacted child welfare investigators. After some digging, authorities learned of the kidnapping and Tanner was arrested, but Miguel’s future remained in question.
Miguel was placed in the custody of Children’s Protective Services while authorities worked to sort out details of the complicated story. Authorities were trying to decide if Miguel should be given back to his biological parents, Auboni Champion-Morin and Fernando Morin, or if he should be given to Joseph and Juanita Aguillard, a couple caring for four of the Morin’s other children. Those children -- Destiny, Fernando, Mariah and Raghim – wanted their long-lost brother to live with them.
Miguel was not initially told his true identity, but began working with a therapist and slowly introduced to his family members.
He had joint therapy sessions with his biological parents, and had weekend visits with his brothers and sisters. A judge decided he will be released from CPS custody and will join his siblings with the Aguillards on Friday.