One of two missing brothers is back in state custody. The two were under the care of DHS when they disappeared, but a source told News 9 family members were expected to return them both.
Elijah Muhammad, 8, reportedly ran away early Sunday morning. His 12-year-old brother, also named Elijah Muhammad, ran away back in June. Both had been in foster care as authorities investigated their father, who also has the same name, for alleged child abuse.
The 8-year-old was staying with his grandmother in Northwest OKC when she reported he ran away early Sunday morning. She later produced a runaway note she said the 8-year-old wrote. It read, in part, "Sorry I had to run away. I love my family and I don't want to get taken away from my family again. They were mean to me in foster care."
Tuesday, July 31, police told News 9 that 8-year-old Elijah was safely located in Ardmore, Oklahoma and was returned to DHS custody. His 12-year-old brother is still missing.
"There's a reason a judge made a decision to bring them into custody,” said Casey White of the Department of Human Services.
The boys' father is being investigated for child abuse, although he is not accused of abusing either of the two boys.
He did not respond to a request for an interview, but on Facebook he posted:
"Yes the allegations against me are very serious and could also come with criminal charges."
"No child out of the 5 children living in my house has made any allegations against me in fact all 5 have refuted and denied all allegations against me.
"In 4 months of an investigation I have still not been criminally charged."
White said, "These are very serious allegations. There are reasons that a judge has decided to place these kids in DHS custody."
The father also posted:
"Just got word that (Elijah) is safe. We still don't know where he is but a credible source said he was safe and not wondering the streets."
DHS wasn't buying it. They believed the family was hiding the boys.
"Obviously kids that young aren't just running around the streets on their own. We believe that someone is probably hiding them out."
Elijah Muhammed Sr., the children's father, was arrested Tuesday on one count of child stealing. He is expected to be booked into the Oklahoma County Jail Tuesday night, according to Oklahoma City Police Departments MSgt. Gary Knight.