Mom Who Took 8 Kids: Do What You Have to Do for Your Children

By Pei-Sze Cheng
|  Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011  |  Updated 3:56 PM EDT
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The mother who abducted her eight children from a Queens child welfare agency and fled the state said Tuesday after she was found in Pennsylvania that moms have to go to great lengths for their kids.

The mother who abducted her eight children from a Queens child welfare agency and fled the state said Tuesday after she was found in Pennsylvania that moms have to go to great lengths for their kids.

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The mother who abducted her eight children from a Queens child welfare agency and fled the state said Tuesday after she was found in Pennsylvania that moms have to go to great lengths for their kids.

"Any mother who's going through this -- do what you got to do to protect your babies," Shanel Nadal said after she was arrested in Harrisburg, Pa.

She also pledged her neverending love for her kids.

The NYPD Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Nadal, 28, and Nephra Payne, about a week after the children were taken.

Nadal was charged as a fugitive at the Harrisburg City Police Bureau. Payne collapsed and was taken to a local hospital for evaluation. The reason for his collapse has yet to be determined; he is being guarded by officers.

The children are said to be in good condition. They are in the custody of child services authorities in Pennsylvania.

Acting U.S. Marshal Martin Pane told the AP that the investigation led them to spot the family's van in Harrisburg on Monday evening, when it was parked on a Harrisburg street. The father has relatives nearby, he said.

As officers kept watch, Nephra Payne was seen coming and going at times with some of the children, authorities said.

"Our initial concern was, where were the other children? But ultimately the van was searched, and all the children were in there," Pane said.

The children showed no signs of physical abuse, he said.

New York's child welfare agency, the Administration for Children's Services, said in a statement that its staff would bring the children back to the city.

"The children will be examined by medical personnel and we will ensure that they receive all necessary counseling to address any trauma that they may have experienced," the agency said.

Nadal was visiting with her children inside the Forestdale Child Agency in Forest Hills, Queens, on the afternoon of Sept. 19 when she took them and left with them in her vehicle, a black 1996 Chevrolet Suburban with license plate EXZ5896.

ACS said it was investigating how the children were taken from the foster care facility.

Seven of the children are boys named after their father, though they all have different middle names. The youngest is an 11-month-old girl, Nefertiti.

The boys are 11, 10, 9, 6, 6, 5 and 4.

Nadal lost custody of her children several years ago, and sources say her efforts to reclaim them faltered because she hid the birth of her eighth baby from child welfare workers.

Sources say Nadal was allowed unsupervised visits with the older children and supervised with the baby.

NBC New York learned last week that ACS had doubts she was overcoming her issues and warned her recently that they were starting to plan for the possibility of terminating her parental rights and putting the children up for adoption.

Authorities believe that may be why she took the kids.

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