No Charges For Cleveland Co. Parents Accused Of Kidnapping Daughter
LEXINGTON, Oklahoma - The Cleveland County parents at the center of an interstate Amber Alert will not face any charges.
Bryant Schivers and Tara Springfield have been released from custody, but the state still has their four children.
DHS was originally planning to take Schivers and Springfield's youngest daughter into protective custody August 4, but the family disappeared from their home in Lexington. Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn told News 9, however, that investigators found no evidence of a crime.
“I feel like I’m never going to get them back, and I haven’t done anything wrong to lose them,” Springfield told News 9.
After Springfield and Schivers’s 4-month-old daughter suddenly died last month, DHS came out to do a welfare check on the other four children in the home. Springfield said, unbeknownst to her, case workers took issue with their 18-month-old daughter Bracie sleeping in a full-sized bed instead of a crib.
The parents cite Bracie’s adventurous nature for the change in sleeping arrangements.
“One time I went to get her when she was crying in her crib, she had one leg slung over the side. Time for the crib to go,” Springfield explained.
In a follow-up interview at DHS, Schivers said he was unexpectedly handed a notice to surrender Bracie. He said he could not stand to lose another child, so instead, he decided to pack up the family and leave.
“If I had been in the wrong I can stand and face the music,” said Schivers. “I’m a man. I’m a father at that, and I was just doing what I thought I needed to at the time.”
Schivers and Springfield were arrested in Texas, and their children were taken away. Authorities said no charges will be filed, but they have yet to get their kids back.
At least one lawmaker said this is becoming an all-too familiar story.
“I get complaints galore on DHS,” says Rep. Bobby Cleveland, R-Slaughterville. “The way they treat people, the way they talk to people, how they abuse people, and I think enough is enough and I think they need to be investigated thoroughly.”
DHS will not comment on the case, but the agency’s website states: "While every attempt is made to preserve the family, if a child's safety cannot be controlled, then court intervention, including removal of the child, may be necessary."
The parents say they are now trying to raise money to hire a lawyer to fight the system because all of their savings went to their fifth daughter's funeral.