Krystle Tanner (Source: San Augustine County Jail)
Gloria Walker (Source: San Augustine County Jail)
SAN AUGUSTINE, TX (KTRE) -
day four of the ongoing kidnapping trail against Krystle Tanner and Gloria
Tanner, an officer with the Houston Police Department's Special Crimes
Division-Sex Crimes Unit said that, based on the facts as she knew them, she
thought the case wasn't a kidnapping; it was a matter of interference with
to authorities, Tanner and her mother, Walker, have been on the run from law
enforcement since they kidnapped the child, Miguel Morin, while babysitting him
overnight. For eight years, Tanner allegedly hid Miguel Morin in homes all over
Central and East Texas calling him by the name "Jaquan" and allowing
him to believe he was younger than he actually was. They also kept him from
going to school.
Augustine County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested Tanner in August 2011
following reports of negligent supervision of children and abuse after Child
Protective Services followed a claim that Tanner's husband, Timothy James
Taylor, was allowing his newborn son to smoke marijuana. This is when CPS
discovered a bi-racial boy living with the family.
the investigation, one of the SACSO deputies realized one of Tanner's children
was the missing child Miguel.
Kauffelt, an officer with the HPD's Special Crimes Division-Sex Crimes Unit,
said Thursday that she took over the case after an Officer Coleman retired from
the force and transferred the case. Kauffelt said she has been a police officer
for 18 years and worked in the juvenile division for 9 years.
Kauffelt testified that she sent a certified letter to Auboni Morin. She said this is
standard procedure when they can't reach someone in person or over the phone.
She said she did receive a receipt from Morin saying they had received the
letter. Kauffelt visited Morin at her apartment, and Morin said she had never
read the letter, even though she had received it. She testified that Morin was very
uncooperative and left a voicemail several weeks later, saying she wanted a
different officer assigned to the case.
testified she spoke to Walker and was told she had not spoken to Tanner in over
two years. Walker said Auboni Morin had sold her baby, Miguel, to Tanner for
$200 when he was only two months old. She said Auboni Morin wanted to make a
career out of being a surrogate and give babies away to people who could not
have children for various reasons.
said she got in touch with Juanita Aguillard, the godmother of the Morin
children, who told her she was planning on formally adopting the four Morin
children at the time. Kauffelt said Aguillard already had several children of
her own and was very cooperative. Aguillard told Kauffelt that Auboni Morin had
given Miguel to Tanner saying "Ms. Morin never asked for money. She just
gave (the babies) away."
attorney Rudy Velasquez asked Kauffelt if she felt Auboni Morin had been
truthful in her statements.
have an overwhelming feeling that no one has been truthful in this case,"
said she was instructed by a district attorney to close the case on April 6,
2006, despite earlier testimony in the trial stating the HPD investigation was
closed in February 2005. The Houston Police Department had to close the case
because they were receiving conflicting statements, and there was a lack of
cooperation from the Morins. Kauffelt said the case was no longer going to be
considered a criminal case and was now considered a civil matter at that time
J. Kevin Dutton told Kauffelt that the SACSO investigators able to identify
Miguel in only three days. He asked Kauffelt if she would've contacted the San
Augustine County Sheriff's Office if this case had happened today. Kauffelt
replied she did the very best she could with the experience she had.
the low man on a very high totem pole. I did what I was told," Kauffelt
asked Kauffelt if she felt like this was a kidnapping case, given the facts.
Kauffelt said she does not agree this is a kidnapping case and still believes
it is a interference with child custody case because she thinks the Morin's and
Tanner's had an agreement about who would have custody of Miguel.
said she found it odd that the Morins had not contacted the police department
at all between the months of March 2005 to June 2006. She did admit that
sometime between December 2004 and June 2006 the case file went missing.
Thursday morning, Sgt. Michael K. Peters, a sergeant with the Houston Police
Department with 31 years of experience, told jurors in a San Augustine County
district court that he initially investigated the kidnapping case in 2004. He
testified that Auboni Morin, the biological mother of Miguel, came into his
office and reported a kidnapped child on Nov. 16, 2004.
testified he interviewed Miguel's father, Fernando Morin, at the apartment complex
in Houston, and that Fernando Morin's behavior was inappropriate. He said
Fernando Morin had just returned home from Florida where he was working a job
for several weeks and had recently learned his newborn son was missing. Peters
said Fernando did not show any concern his child was missing. He said the
circumstances of the alleged kidnapping were confusing and he was under the
impression Miguel had been staying with Tanner and Walker for an extended
period of time.
told the defense he has never seen a case like this since his first day on the
force in 1981. Dutton asked Peters if he had been concerned with the case when
two weeks passed and Tanner and the baby had not returned home. Peters said he
did think at the time that this was probably an abduction. Dutton asked Peters
what he would have done if this had been his son. He answered saying he
would've used every resource he could to find the child.
defense countered by saying "You are not the father of this child. In your
report, the child's father did not seem upset. Did that not give you reason to
believe this is a matter between families and not an abduction?" Peters
said Fernando Morin's reaction was strange, so he transferred the case to the
juvenile division because he felt they could handle the case more efficiently.
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