Authorities say they've found the two children who disappeared from a family court building in New Jersey Tuesday evening when their father, a homeless man with a history of drug addiction, kidnapped them during a supervised visit.
Newark police say the siblings, a 5-year-old boy named Sammy and a 4-year-old boy named China, were visiting with their father, 30-year-old Moso B. Tene, at the Wilentz Justice Complex at the New Jersey Family Court Building in Newark at around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
A worker from the state Child Protection & Permanency agency was supervising the visit, and left the room, police say. When the worker returned, Tene, a homeless man with a history of drug addiction, had disappeared with his children.
The children and their father were located in Boston Wednesday morning after transit police spotted them, according to Newark police. The father was being held as a fugitive from justice, while the children were on their way back to New Jersey.
The abductions raised questions about office visit supervision in the state building. Officials wouldn't discuss details about what happened during the supervised visit Tuesday, but News 4 learned Tene had only been in the building nine minutes before he was able to walk downstairs with his two children.
The Department of Children and Families said in a statement, "When questions or claims regarding whether a designated supervisor neglectfully supervised a visit, DCF conducts an investigation."
Calvin Daniels, a father visiting the New Jersey Family Court building in Newark Wednesday, told News 4 it's "almost chaos" on the 13th floor, where parents await visitation or custody resolution.
"I was just up there and I saw a couple fighting over the custody of their children, and nobody stepped in," he said.
Daniels recalled that when he had supervised visitation of a child at the building several years ago, his supervising social worker never left the room, which was fairly large and filled with toys and other child-sized furniture.
He said of Tene, "If he feels like he wasn't being vindicated in the court system, or if the court was treating him like a secondary citizen, I can understand why you did such a thing, but I'm not going to condone it."
State Sen. Dick Codey, a member of the human services committee, said someone should always be guarding a parent under supervised visitation. Depending on what the state's internal investigation finds, it may be worthy of a committee hearing.