Police Accuse Dad of Kidnapping His Daughters Because They Don't Look Like Him

handsCan you imagine how it would feel to have complete strangers question whether or not your children were, in fact, your children? I can. In fact, I don't have to imagine what it would feel like, because as the mother of two biracial children, I know. I know how it feels, for example, to have someone I've never met approach me in a grocery store and say of the daughter I gave birth to weeks before: "She's absolutely adorable! Where did you get her?" (Why, just down the street at the Cute Asian Baby Store, of course! They're even having a sale!)

Thankfully, the experiences I've had along these lines have been more annoying than anything else. Nothing like the terrifying episode Virginia parents Joseph and Keana (last names withheld) recently went through.

Joseph, who is white, and Keana, who is African-American, were out running errands one day with their three young daughters -- just your average family outing. Until they got home, that is, to find a police officer waiting for them.

At first the couple was confused. Then the cop explained why he was there: A security guard at Walmart, where they'd just been shopping, called the police to report a possible kidnapping. "I just need to make sure that the children that you have are your own," said the police officer.

Keana says she was "dumbfounded. I sat there for a minute and I thought, 'Did he just ask us if these were our kids knowing what we went through to have our children?'"

When Keana and Joseph called the Walmart demanding an explanation, they were told that a customer alerted the security guard because he was "alarmed" at the sight of Joseph with his daughters (a 4-year-old and 2-year-old twins). The customer "didn't think that they fit," apparently.

Keana wasn't about to let that one slide: "I said, ‘What do you mean by they don't fit?’ And I was trying to get her [the Walmart employee] to say it. And she says, ‘Well, they just don't match up.’”

This whole thing is beyond outrageous, but what's truly sad is that Joseph and Keana say they're "not surprised," and neither am I. Even in this day and age, narrow-mindedness runs rampant; combine that with our society's tendency to judge and condemn, and you have ... a big mess. It's just a shame that innocent families have to deal with it.

Are you surprised that this dad was accused of kidnapping his biracial daughters?


Image via Vox Efx/Flickr

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Serab... Serabelle

all I can say is eew. I don' t blame the police though, they were just following up on a call that they recieved. He was probably really embarassed having to say anything when he got to their house and saw the family together. It's that narrow minded customer that is the nasty one. These days you cannot tell which child belongs to whom by looking at them as there are so many people that have bi-racial babies, or adopt. And just becasue a child is the same race as the adult doesn't mean that they automatically belong to that adult. Children of the same race are probably more likely to have been kidnapped, because the kidnapper wouldn't want to draw unnecessary attention I would think. Also, every time I take my niece anywhere people think she is mine, even if my sister, her mommy, is right next to me, because she looks more like me than my sister. People need to open their minds up. Racisim is stupid. Sexism is stupid. I hate hate.

BirdCo BirdCo

The police didn't accuse him somebody else did and the police did their job of checking out the situation. This story is interesting enough that you don't need a police bashing headline to get page hits.

Heath... HeatherMazzone

That Walmart customer needs to mind their own damn business. If the kids didn't look distressed and weren't mouthing the words "help me" I don't see why try felt it was their place to start drama. People can have kids with members of the opposite race, or does that just not happen where they're from? People are crazy.

LostS... LostSoul88

people need to mind their own fucking business! Unless it actualy looke dlike he was kidnapping the child then nothign should have been said!

nonmember avatar Shannon

This is horrible. Never make assumptions about a family. Always, always say, if you feel the need to make a comment, "Your children are beautiful" or "You have a beautiful family" even if the kids look nothing like the parents or Mom looks like Grandma. It's the only thing that can't blow up in your face.

.LoVe... .LoVeMyBuG.

Normally I would agree with the previous comments, but at the same time *if* the kids had been kidnapped and no one reported anything, even though they suspected something was off, that they "just didn't fit" those same people would be slammed because they could have saved the children had they just spoken up. Every kidnapping case, take the most recent one with the three girls found after 10 years, had someone just spoke up about seeing girls in the yard, or in the window, they could have been saved before they lost 10 years of their lives.... maybe that's all that person was doing, maybe the kids were acting up & dad was frustrated and it made the person think the kids could have been kidnapped since they didn't look alike, who knows. I feel for the family though, that would really suck. 

jrphelps jrphelps

I am actually surprised this hasn't happened to my husband.  He is black & our son is white with red hair.  He got all of daddy's features but mommy's pastey complexion!  He has had people ask him whose baby he has with him.

.LoVe... .LoVeMyBuG.

I just watched the news video of the couple, they seemed very nice and like a loving family, and it sucks this happened to them BUT... The girls are much darker than him, they don't look mixed because their mother has such a dark skin tone and he is pasty pale. Not that it matters but honestly like I said above, had those girls actually been kidnapped everyone would have been all over it asking "how did no one notice a white guy putting 3 black girls into a car..." You can't win. You either look bad because you made a false assumption, or look worse because you didn't speak up if something really was wrong. I feel really bad for the couple, but better to be safe than sorry, there are so many missing children and if more people spoke up when they felt "something was off" maybe we could find them. It's not like the police came and took the children, they just asked a few questions and followed up with a report made. 

Brain... BrainyMommy

I would be more concerned if the police had initiated this action. They should know better. Stupid people shopping at Wal-Mart is nothing new. So I'm not suprised or concerned that a Wal-Mart shopper would be this stupid.

Brain... BrainyMommy

And how did the guy prove the kids were his? DNA sample? Adoption paperwork? Because kidnapped children have been known to lie and say the kidnapper is their parent. The whole situation is beyond stupid.

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