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DA awaits parents extradition in Forestdale 8 abduction case

Police arrested Nephra Payne Sr. (far l.) and Shanel Nadal (far r.) in Pennsylvania for allegedly kidnapping their eight children. Photos courtesy of NYPD and Harrisburg City Police Bureau
TimesLedger Newspapers

The pair accused of kidnaping their eight children out of a Forest Hills foster care center and fleeing with them around the country could be back to face a Queens judge later this week, the authorities said.

Shanel Nadal, 28, and Nephra Payne, 35, were scheduled to appear at an extradition hearing this Wednesday in a Harrisburg, Pa., where they were caught following a seven-day manhunt that stretched as far south as South Carolina, according to the Dauphin County district attorney’s office.

The Harlem couple are waiting to be arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on kidnapping and custodial interference charges for allegedly taking their eight children, who were removed from their care by the city Administration for Children’s Services, out of the Forestdale foster center, at 67-35 112th St., during a supervised visit Sept. 19.

A spokesman for the Dauphin County DA’s office said the suspects, who were arrested Sept. 27, would have the right to waive an extradition hearing, but there was a good chance they would be back in New York by the end of the week.

“Usually it takes about 10 days,” the spokesman for the Dauphin County DA’s office said of the time between an arrest and extradition.

The Queens district attorney’s office could not comment about the case.

Nadal was visiting her 11-month-old daughter Nefertiti Payne and her sons, all of whom are named after their father and range from the ages of 4 to 11, at the front lawn of the center when she brought them inside for a soda and escaped via another entrance where Nephra Payne Sr. was waiting in a getaway van, according to the police.

The pair and the children drove all the way down to South Carolina before coming back up north to Harrisburg, where they were caught by the NYPD’s Fugitive Task Force, who tracked them through their state benefit cards, according to investigators.

Payne, Nadal and the brood were discovered living inside the van with trash, dirty clothing and other supplies, the police said.

Payne had sent a text to one of the three foster parents who were taking care of the children, saying she could not live without her children. Payne’s attorney, Norman Steiner, who did not return phone calls for comment, told reporters that his client and Nadal claimed the children were being abused at the hands of their foster parents, but ACS did not respond to their complaints.

ACS spokesman Michael Fagan said the agency was investigating the matter.

“We are aware of the allegations currently being made by the parents and we take all allegations of abuse seriously. Our immediate concerns are for the well-being of the children,” he said in a statement.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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