NY Daily News
November 17, 2013
Police say an Ohio couple is in hiding after a warrant was issued for their arrest for trying to return their adopted 9-year-old son.
Sheriffs have been on the hunt for Cleveland Cox, 49, and his wife Lisa, 52, for three days, Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones told the Daily News Friday.
Prosecutors say the Liberty Township couple living allegedly dropped off their adopted 9-year-old son at Butler County Children Services late last month, saying he had become too aggressive.
“It was like giving a puppy back,” said Jones. “They took him back to who they thought was the rightful owner. Sad but true.”
The couple had raised the child since he was 3 months old. Jones said the child’s two siblings are in the care of family. He’d heard a rumor that the Cleveland and Lisa Cox were with their attorney and preparing to turn themselves in.
“Children that are adopted do not come with ‘return to sender’ stamped on their forehead,” Butler County prosecutor Mike Gmoser the Journal-News when the warrant was issued Wednesday.
“There’s no difference between an adoptive parent and a natural parent when the adoption is final. That’s it.”
The charge of nonsupport of dependents carries a maximum sentence of six months behind bars and a $1,000 fine. Jones said it would be up to prosecutors whether to bring additional charges against the Coxs for failing to turn themselves in in a timely manner.
The child’s guardian ad litem, Adolfo Olivas, told the newspaper the kid is “hurt and confused and traumatized” over being abandoned.