Date: 2005-02-08

Associated Press
The Miami Herald

A couple charged with the torture of their adopted children waived extradition Monday, clearing the way for their return to Florida.

John and Linda Dollar were picked up by deputies Friday night south of Blanding in remote southeast Utah, and were being held in the San Juan County Jail in Monticello on warrants out of Citrus County in Florida, charging them with felony aggravated child abuse.

At a hearing Monday, the two signed paperwork waiving extradition. Florida authorities, who also moved Monday to revoke the couple's bail, now have 10 days to retrieve the Dollars and take them back to Inverness, about 60 miles north of Tampa, to face charges.

Five of the couple's seven adopted children, ages 12 to 17, told Florida investigators they were tortured by the couple, subjected to electric shocks, beatings with hammers and having their toenails yanked out with pliers.

A search of their home Friday revealed an electric cattle prod, sticks, belts and a vise that were allegedly used in the acts. The abused five had physical injuries supporting their claims and were so severely malnourished that they weighed no more than elementary school children, authorities said.

It wasn't immediately clear Monday where the Dollars were headed when authorities traced cellphone calls made by the couple to Utah. Their southbound SUV was stopped on Highway 191 about 45 miles north of the Arizona border, and the pair were arrested without incident.

In the past two years, the Dollars have moved their family to at least three different homes in the Tampa Bay area after living in Tennessee, secluding themselves behind fences and in piney groves, keeping a low profile. The children were home-schooled and rarely played with others on the block or enjoyed the family's pool.

John Dollar, 58, is a commercial real estate appraiser and his 51-year-old wife taught the children at home.

Copyright (c) 2005 The Miami Herald
Record Number: 0502100284


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