DEARBORN COUNTY, IN (FOX19) - Sonya Balsley, the Dearborn County teen who went missing earlier this month, has been removed from her home by the Indiana Department of Child Services along with six siblings. All children removed are minors. A spokeswoman for DCS says they do not comment on individual cases but says they do everything they can to avoid removing kids from homes unless there is a safety concern.
Once children are removed, DCS spokeswoman Stephanie McFarland says they do everything they can to place kids in homes with relatives and to keep siblings together. McFarland says the goal is to return children to their permanent homes whenever possible.
Mr. Balsley told FOX19 Wednesday that he and his wife have eight adopted kids, including an eighteen-year-old girl. Balsley says three of those children have special needs. In fact, Penny Balsley told reporters Tuesday that the family moved to Bright from South Bend to be closer to Children's Hospital because of one of her special needs children.
Investigators say four to five guns were also taken from the home as a safety precaution during the removal of the children Thursday night.
Investigators said they are continuing to look into every allegation, but that they have been unable to substantiate claims of an abduction.
Penny and Erik Balsley repeatedly told FOX19 they believe their family has been the target of harassment for weeks.
A Dearborn County Communications incident listing shows 20 separate calls from the Balsley residence since March. The list includes reports of harassment, vandalism, a burglary, and numerous reports of suspicious persons or circumstances. Seven of the recorded calls involve the caller stating she believes someone is on the roof of their home.
Neighbors who spoke with FOX19 say they never witnessed any of the harassment alleged by the Balsley family.
Investigator Jack Prarat tells FOX19 the family has now become part of their investigation into the girl's disappearance.
Sonya Balsley, 16, went missing from the yard of her residence on Vineyard Court in Bright between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 3.
Balsley was found near a creek bed off Sneakville Road in Bright, Indiana just after 2 p.m. Tuesday. Officers say Sonya was alert and speaking to EMTs when they found her. An investigator says the location where she was found is between a mile and a mile and a half away from the girl's house by foot.
Parents Erik and Penny Balsley and their lawyer denied comment Friday.