(Update 2) The Number of Known Adoptees Has Risen to 11 In Abuse Case

Date: 2007-08-01

(Update 2) The Number of Known Adoptees Has Risen to 11 In Abuse Case

Another person known to have been adopted by Judith Leekin has been found living on the streets in Fl.

The number of known adoptees at this time has risen to eleven.

The number that has been found at this time is ten.

Police have now determined that eleven people are known to have been adopted by the woman known as Judith Leekin (possibly an alias).

The known adopted persons found still in the home of Judith Leekin were six young men, ages 15, 16, 17, 20, 23 and 26; and two young women, ages 16 and 27. Two others found outside the home were a young woman age 18 and a young man age 19. One young man age 18 is still unaccounted for.

The latest turn of events has uncovered the tenth person known to have been adopted by this woman. A 19-year-old male who was described as being homeless was located Monday in FL., is the latest known (alleged) victim.

"He had similar stories, similar scars and marks on his body from his wrists to his ankles where he alleges he was also handcuffed and tied to other people," Port St. Lucie Police spokesman Robert Vega said.

No other information about his condition has been released at this time.

It is claimed at this time that this man has not been in the home for approx. 2 years but that Judith still collected money for his care and support.

The search for the other known person to have been adopted by this woman is still in progress. This person is said to be an 18-year-old male and may also be living on the streets, as that has so far been where two of her adopted children have been found. One found wandering after being abandoned an approx. 3 hour drive from her home and now the latest found to be homeless also (where he was found has not been released).

The known adoptions took place in New York in the 1990's. Based on the documentation the authorities have at this time, it is estimated she collected $1.5 million to $2 million on these people but these numbers could be way off as they have not gotten all the financial information as of yet.

According to Sharman Stein, a spokesperson for Children's Services in New York parents who adopt children from foster care are paid daily subsidies, depending on each child’s level of need, ending when a child turns 21.

For children 12 and over, the subsidy for a child classified as “normal” is $22.59; for a child labeled “special” it is $36.33; and for a child designated as “exceptional” it is $55.07, she said. Ms. Stein declined to disclose which categories the children adopted by Ms. Leekin were in, but said that Ms. Leekin was still collecting subsidies for three of the children until her arrest. Those subsidies have since been stopped.

What was not stated are the rates for children under the age of 12, as some if not all were under that age when they were adopted by Judith Larkin. (using her various aliases) Also not taken into account as of yet, is if and if so was she receiving SSI benefits for these children some of whom are now considered adults.

It is said that Judith went through four non-profit adoption agencies in New York, the two the have been named are said to have solid reputations with the city (New York) as service providers. St. Joseph’s Children’s Services which closed in 2001 for financial reasons and HeartShare Human Service of New York.

In New York, after adoptions are completed it is not a requirement of the adoption agencies to do checks on the adoptive families unless abuse has been reported in the home.

Through her lawyer she is denying the allegations that have been brought against her.

"She indicated that she loved these children, that she took care of them," Mario Garcia said. "She nurtured them and fed them."

Police and the state Department of Children & Families investigated similar allegations in 1999 against Leekin, who reportedly fed the kids only noodles, rice and beans, though Bartal said no signs of abuse were found.

"They were very good investigations done by both agencies at that time," he said. "The manner in which she would interview with people would lead one to believe that she was telling the truth."

It is obvious that this woman was good at covering her tracks as she has done so for at least 20 years. As one of the adoptees stated previously they had been with Judith for 20 years see the arrest warrant (pdf file) on my previous post. Though this persons statement may be being discounted, as this person is also the same one that is said to have been "brainwashed".

The biological son of Judith Leekin, Desmond Leekin, is not commenting at this time on the advice of his mother's lawyer, though,

“He’s cooperating and telling us what he knows,” Officer Vega said of Mr. Leekin. 

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