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 Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH

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Melinda
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PostSubject: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:40 am

JAELYN ELIZABETH PAIGE RICE
Case Type: Endangered Missing
DOB: Aug 8, 2004
Sex: Female
Missing Date: Jul 16, 2009
Race: White
Age Now: 4
Height: 3'6" (107 cm)
Missing City: WHEELERSBURG
Weight: 40 lbs (18 kg)
Missing State : OH
Hair Color: Blonde
Missing Country: United States
Eye Color: Blue
Case Number: NCMC1127967
Circumstances: Both photo shown are of Jaelyn. She is believed to be in Wheelersburg or Portsmouth, Ohio. Jaelyn has a scar on the right side of her forehead. She is missing a tooth and the bottom left side of her mouth. Jaelyn may go by the nickname Jay.


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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:41 am

:good news:
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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:41 am

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gi...2349859&ref=mf

http://www.facebook.com/Missing.Jaelyn.Rice

Please help find JAELYN RICE

JAELYN ELIZABETH PAIGE RICE
Case Type: Endangered Missing
DOB: Aug 8, 2004
Sex: Female
Missing Date: Jul 16, 2009
Race: White
Age Now: 4
Height: 3'6" (107 cm)
Missing City: WHEELERSBURG
Weight: 40 lbs (18 kg)
Missing State : OH
Hair Color: Blonde
Missing Country: United States
Eye Color: Blue
Case Number: NCMC1127967

Circumstances: Both photo shown are of Jaelyn. She is believed to be in Wheelersburg or Portsmouth, Ohio. Jaelyn has a scar on the right side of her forehead. She is missing a tooth on the bottom left side of her mouth. Jaelyn may go by the nickname Jay
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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:41 am

Wheelersburg Child Missing

A child missing from Wheelersburg is officially listed on the Web site for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and her mother is in the Scioto County Jail on contempt charges.

Jaelyn Rice, a 4-year-old, described as having blonde hair and blue eyes, has been missing since July 16, but did not become listed as missing until last week when her father, Stephen A. Rice,., issued a missing persons report. Prior to the filing, the incident was being treated as a domestic dispute because the mother reportedly knows where the child is but refuses to give the whereabouts of the child to authorities.

Jessica Lewis (Mother)
The mother, Cherish N. Lewis, Wheelersburg, is incarcerated in the Scioto County Jail, and according to Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini, has been ordered to remain in jail until she reveals the whereabouts of the child.

Judge Frederick W. Crow III, was assigned to hear the case after a conflict in the original case, involving Judge David Spears in Scioto County Domestic Relations Court, resulted in that court contacting the Ohio Supreme Court for someone to come in and hear the case.
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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:42 am

:candle:


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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:42 am

{¶17} On June 6, 2007, Rice filed a motion to modify custody
{¶93} We do find that competent and credible evidence supports the trial court’s belief that Rice is the “parent more likely to honor and facilitate courtapproved parenting time rights or visitation and companionship rights”; and that

was found in contempt of court twice for violating court orders and spent time in
jail on those contempt charges. Similarly, the record shows that Lewis tried to
deny Rice visitation with the Child on numerous occasions, and that Lewis even
fled with the Child for a very brief time before turning the Child over to Rice.
{¶94} However, the trial court relied on too many factors that were not supported by competent and credible evidence to determine the best interest of the Child. Therefore, we find that the trial court abused its discretion in determining the best interest of the child.{¶95} Accordingly, we sustain Lewis’s third assignment of error. We reverse the trial court's judgment and remand this cause to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. We offer no opinion on the best interest of the Child, or whether Rice or Lewis should be declared the residential parent.

The trial court apparently never considered the opinion of
the Florida guardian ad litem

The trial judge imposed his own ideas on medical matters in relation to the welfare of the child and he even suggested that the Defendant/Appellant/mother had Munchousen’s Syndromes
and Parental Alienation Syndrome, which were both proven by
Defendant/Appellant’s
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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:46 am

This is the legal code as to why they arrested her..and any use of force to get he child back ..

2919.23 Interference with custody.


A) No person, knowing the person is without privilege to do so or being reckless in that regard, shall entice, take, keep, or harbor a person identified in division (A)(1), (2), or (3) of this section from the parent, guardian, or custodian of the person identified in division (A)(1), (2), or (3) of this section:

(1) A child under the age of eighteen, or a mentally or physically handicapped child under the age of twenty-one;

(2) A person committed by law to an institution for delinquent, unruly, neglected, abused, or dependent children;

(3) A person committed by law to an institution for the mentally ill or mentally retarded.

(B) No person shall aid, abet, induce, cause, or encourage a child or a ward of the juvenile court who has been committed to the custody of any person, department, or public or private institution to leave the custody of that person, department, or institution without legal consent.

(C) It is an affirmative defense to a charge of enticing or taking under division (A)(1) of this section, that the actor reasonably believed that the actor’s conduct was necessary to preserve the child’s health or safety. It is an affirmative defense to a charge of keeping or harboring under division (A) of this section, that the actor in good faith gave notice to law enforcement or judicial authorities within a reasonable time after the child or committed person came under the actor’s shelter, protection, or influence.

(D)(1) Whoever violates this section is guilty of interference with custody.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in this division, a violation of division (A)(1) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the child who is the subject of a violation of division (A)(1) of this section is removed from the state or if the offender previously has been convicted of an offense under this section, a violation of division (A)(1) of this section is a felony of the fifth degree. If the child who is the subject of a violation of division (A)(1) of this section suffers physical harm as a result of the violation, a violation of division (A)(1) of this section is a felony of the fourth degree.

(3) A violation of division (A)(2) or (3) of this section is a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(4) A violation of division (B) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree. Each day of violation of division (B) of this section is a separate offense.
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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:46 am

Hi Everyone. An Update:-

Updated: 11:36 AM Aug 18, 2009

Suspect Sought in Missing Child Investigation




PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Detectives say they have a suspect in the case of a missing 5-year-old girl in Scioto County.
The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office has issued an arrest warrant for 19-year-old Jessica Lewis of Wheelersburg, Ohio. The warrant charges Lewis with “interference in custody.”
The case involves 5-year-old Jaelyn Rice.
Rice’s biological mother, 22-year-old Cherish Lewis, is currently in the Scioto County Jail after failing to reveal the child’s whereabouts. She has been in jail since a hearing on July 24. Jessica Lewis is Cherish Lewis’ sister.
Investigators say Jessica Lewis and Rice were believed to have been staying at a residence on Coriell Road in Minford until the end of July when they fled the area.
Detectives believe Lewis and the child are still in the Tri-State area.

More at Link:-

http://www.wsaz.com/news/headlines/53568162.html
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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:47 am

Jaelyn Rice, a 4-year-old, described as having blonde hair and blue eyes, has been missing since July 16, but did not become listed as missing until last week when her father, Stephen A. Rice, of 4813 West Flamingo Road, Tampa, Fla., issued a missing persons report. Prior to the filing, the incident was being treated as a domestic dispute because the mother reportedly knows where the child is but refuses to give the whereabouts of the child to authorities.

The mother, Cherish N. Lewis, of 709 Herms Hill Road, Wheelersburg, is incarcerated in the Scioto County Jail, and according to Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini, has been ordered to remain in jail until she reveals the whereabouts of the child.

Judge Frederick W. Crow III, was assigned to hear the case after a conflict in the original case, involving Judge David Spears in Scioto County Domestic Relations Court, resulted in that court contacting the Ohio Supreme Court for someone to come in and hear the case.

Donini said the Sheriff’s Office became involved last week.

“Last week around Wednesday or Thursday, we had an interference with custody report, which was actually given to us by the (Portsmouth) Police Department,” Donini said. “The PD had the child entered and they took the child out of NCIC (National Crime Information Center) as a missing person. Our people put it in the day we got the report which was probably a week ago or longer.”

Donini said, after a discussion, he determined it was not a missing person case because the biological mother knew the child’s whereabouts.

“We brought her (Lewis) out and questioned her and asked if the child is missing. And she basically said no, she knows exactly where the child is,” Donini said. “She’s just not going to tell the judge.”

Donini said his office was in communication with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, and with Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn, and the decision was made not to enter the child’s name in the registry.

Donini said, after a conversation with the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s LEADS (Law Enforcement Automated Data System) officials, he was told the child could not be entered into the system unless a missing person report is filed.

After Scioto County Sheriff’s Detective Jodi Conkel contacted the father in Florida, he filed the report, “because he’s the custodial parent, and he did not know where the child was at that point and time. LEADS said, based on that, we could re-enter the child. And that’s what we did, re-enter her, based on that,” Donini said. “Normally, a missing person, no one knows where they are. But in this case, someone does know, which is the mother, which is not the custodial parent.”

Donini said a tip lead them to a residence on Coriell Road, where they were permitted to search, but found no sign of the child.

Donini said this isn’t the first time Lewis has been jailed for contempt of court.

Lewis was reportedly booked on Aug. 1, 2007, and released on Aug. 22, 2007, and booked again on Sept. 22, 2006. That time she was released on Sept. 28, 2007.

Attorney J.B. Marshall, Jr., who had represented Lewis, told the Portsmouth Daily Times Monday he recently won a unanimous decision in an appeal in the case, in the Court of Appeals.

Marshall expects to make a copy of the briefs filed by his office and the ruling in the case on Tuesday for a possible follow-up story on the case.

Lewis’ current attorney, Holly Regoli of Lancaster, was not immediately reachable Monday.

FRANK LEWIS may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232.
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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:47 am

Munchausen Syndrome Overview
Munchausen syndrome is a condition in which a person intentionally fakes, simulates, worsens, or self-induces an injury or illness for the main purpose of being treated like a medical patient. Munchausen syndrome is named after a German military man, Baron von Munchausen, who traveled around telling fantastic tales about his imaginary exploits. In 1951, Richard Asher applied the term to people traveling from hospital to hospital, fabricating various illnesses.

The term Munchausen syndrome is often used interchangeably with factitious disorder. Factitious disorder refers to any illness that is intentionally produced for the main purpose of assuming the sick role, although that purpose is unknown to the "sick" person. Munchausen syndrome most appropriately describes persons who have a chronic variant of a factitious disorder with mostly physical signs and symptoms, although there are reports in literature regarding psychological Munchausen syndrome, meaning that the simulated symptoms are psychiatric in nature.

Persons with Munchausen syndrome intentionally cause signs and symptoms of an illness or injury by inflicting medical harm to their body, often to the point of having to be hospitalized. These persons are sometimes eager to undergo invasive medical interventions. They are also known to move from doctor to doctor, hospital to hospital, or town to town to find a new audience once they have exhausted the workup and treatment options available in a given medical setting. Persons with Munchausen syndrome may also make false claims about their accomplishments, credentials, relations to famous persons, etc.

A related condition, called Munchausen by proxy syndrome, refers to a caregiver who fakes symptoms by causing injury to someone else, often a child, and then wants to be with that person in a hospital or similar medical setting.


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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:48 am


Jessica Lewis (Mother)
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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:48 am

The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office has filed an arrest for the sister of a woman who has refused to disclose the whereabouts of her five-year-old daughter, whose photo and narrative are listed on the Web site for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini said his office is looking for Jessica D. Lewis, 19, whose last known address was 709 Herms Hill, Wheelersburg, Ohio. The warrant was obtained Aug. 11, and charges Lewis with interference in custody.

Jaelyn Rice, who, at the time of her disappearance, was 4 years old, is described as having blond hair and blue eyes, has been missing since July 16, when she was visiting in Ohio with her mother.

Her father, Stephen A. Rice, 4813 West Flamingo Road, Tampa, Fla., issued a missing persons report, since he is the custodial parent.

On July 24, 2009 while attending a court appearance in the Scioto County Domestic Relations Court, the biological mother, Cherish N. Lewis, 22, also of 709 Herms Hill, Wheelersburg, was remanded to the Scioto County Jail by Judge Frederick Crow III for failing to produce the whereabouts of the child.

Crow was assigned to hear the case after a conflict in the original case. Judge David Spears of Scioto County Domestic Relations Court was being challenged in an election by Attorney Marie Hoover, who was involved with the case at the time. That resulted in that court contacting the Ohio Supreme Court for someone to come in and hear the case. Cherish Lewis remains incarcerated.

As the result of an inquiry concerning the possible sighting of the missing child July 31, while at a residence on Coriell Road in the Minford area, Donini said detectives have gathered information from credible witnesses to verify that Jessica D. Lewis did, in fact, have possession of the child but fled the area with the child prior to deputies arriving to investigate the sighting.

Scioto County Sheriff’s Captain David Hall was asked if there would be changes in the charges should it be determined the child has been taken to another state.

“It takes it from a misdemeanor to a felony,” Hall said.

Donini describes the investigation as “somewhat difficult and frustrating,” because additional information is indicating that known acquaintances of the biological mother, Cherish Lewis, are possibly aiding in delaying the recovery of the child.

“We actually think there are people out there who think they are doing the right thing by helping to assist in hiding this child,” Hall said. “They actually are not. We have a court order to, by force, take the child into custody.”

Hall indicated other people may also be charged in obstructing the investigation and retrieving of the child.

“Charges right now are still pending on some other people,” Hall said. “If people are located with that child or are obstructing the investigation, they will be charged accordingly.”

Donini said anyone with additional information concerning the investigation or the whereabouts of Jaelyn Rice and/or Jessica D. Lewis, are encouraged to contact Hall or Detective Jodi Conkel at 740-354-7566.
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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:48 am

CASE#NCMC1127967
Cherish N. Lewis
Scioto County Jail
602 7th Street
Portsmouth, Ohio
740-355-8277
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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:49 am

D O C K E T S H E E T
________________________________________________________________________________
Aug 22, 2009 Scioto Court of Common Pleas Page 1
12:00 pm D O C K E T S H E E T for 09CA003307
CHERISH LEWIS vs. STEPHEN RICE, et al
________________________________________________________________________________
Date Filed: 08/11/09 Style: RICE, ETAL/CHERISH LEWIS
Judge : 0

Action : NOTICE OF APPEAL/04PD736 JDG C
________________________________________________________________________________
Judge Judge Deleted Judge

Plaintiff 1 Attorney
Pty 1 LEWIS, CHERISH GREGORY P. BARWELL
722 HERMS HILL WESP/BARWELL, L.L.C.
WHEELERSBURG OH 45694 300 EAST BROAD ST, STE 300
COLUMBUS, OHIO 43215-3756

Defendant 1 Attorney 740 353-5700 Gen
740 353-5733 Fax
Pty 2 RICE, STEPHEN BENNETT, REBECCA L
4813 WEST FLAMINGO ROAD 626 7TH ST
TAMPA FL 33611 PORTSMOUTH, OH 45662

Defendant 2
Pty 3 KELLEY, REGINA
1683 SHEILA BLVD
PORTSMOUTH OH 45662

________________________________________________________________________________
Actions
Date Description
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
08/11/09 FILING
NOTICE OF APPEAL.
APPEALING FROM JUDGMENT ENTRY FILED ON 7/24/09
(JUDGMENT ENTRY ATTACHED)
CC: 4 TO COURT OF APPEALS
JUDGE DAVID E. SPEARS VIA COURTHOUSE MAILBOX
JUDGE CROW BY CERT MAIL
LOWER CASE #04-PD-736
ATTY REBECCA BENNETT BY CERT MAIL.
ATTY J.B. MARSHALL BY CERT MAIL.
REGINA KELLEY BY CERT MAIL.
08/11/09 FILING
STATEMENT, PRAECIPE AND NOTICE TO COURT REPORTER
CC: 4 TO COURT OF APPEALS
COURT REPORTER DIANA CRAIG VIA COURTHOUSE MAILBOX.
ATTY J.B. MARSHALL BY CERT MAIL
ATTY REBECCA BENNETT BY CERT MAIL
REGINA KELLEY BY CERT MAIL.
08/11/09 FILING
RULE 9(B) STATEMENT OF PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT ON APPEAL
CC: 4 TO COURT OF APPEALS
ATTY J.B. MARSHALL BY CERT MAIL.
ATTY REBECCA BENNETT BY CERT MAIL.
REGINA KELLEY BY CERT MAIL.
08/11/09 FILING
CIVIL DOCKET STATEMENT: TRANSCRIPT REQUESTED
CC: 4 TO COURT OF APPEALS
ATTY J.B. MARSHALL BY CERT MAIL.
ATTY REBECCA BENNETT BY CERT MAIL.
REGINA KELLEY BY CERT MAIL.
08/14/09 FILING
COPY FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF PETITIONER CHERISH LEWIS'S
APPLICATION FOR DISQUALIFICATION OF JUDGE FREDERICK CROW III
AND TO ASSIGN A SITTING VISITING JUDGE FROM OUTSIDE SCIOTO
AND MEIGS COUNTY
08/14/09 FILING
COPY FROM THE OHIO SUPREME COURT OF PETITIONER'S AFFIDAVIT
OF CHERISH LEWIS IN SUPPORT OF APPLICATION FOR
DISQUALIFICATION (EXHIBIT'S FILED IN CASE #04-PD-736/HAS 119
PAGES)
08/17/09 SERVICE
RETURN RECEIPT FILED. SERVED
REBECCA BENNETT;S LILA HACKWORTH 8-14-09
08/17/09 SERVICE
RETURN RECEIPT FILED. SERVED
JDG F W CROW III;S NANCY CLARK 8-14-09
08/18/09 FILING
DEFT'S MOTION FOR BOND PURSUANT TO OHIO REV. CODE 2705.09
FOR RELEASE FROM INCARCERATION PENDING APPEAL
CC: 4 TO COURT OF APPEALS
08/19/09 SERVICE
RETURN RECEIPT FILED. SERVED
JDG FREDERICK CROW, III S/NANCY CLARK 8/18/09
08/19/09 NO SERVICE
ENVELOPE RETURNED. ADDRESSED TO:
REGINA KELLEY - ATTEMPTD, NOT KNOWN
08/19/09 NO SERVICE
ENVELOPE RETURNED. ADDRESSED TO:
REGINA KELLEY - ATTEMPTED, NOT KNOWN
08/20/09 ISSUANCE
RE-ISSUED NOTICE OF APPEAL TO PLTF REGINA KELLEY BY CERT
MAIL
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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:49 am

http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/docs/pdf/4/2009/2009-ohio-1823.pdf

[Cite as Rice v. Lewis, 2009-Ohio-1823.]
IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF OHIO
FOURTH APPELLATE DISTRICT
SCIOTO COUNTY
Stephen A. Rice, et al., :
:
Plaintiff-Appellee, :
: Case No. 08CA3238
v. :
: DECISION AND
Cherish Lewis, : JUDGMENT ENTRY
:
Defendant-Appellant. : File-stamped date: 4-10-09
________________________________________________________________
APPEARANCES:
J.B. Marshall, Jr., Portsmouth, Ohio, for appellant.
Rebecca L. Bennett, Portsmouth, Ohio, for appellee.
________________________________________________________________
Kline, P.J.:
{¶1} Cherish Lewis (hereinafter “Lewis”) appeals the judgment of the Scioto
County Common Pleas court designating Stephen A. Rice (hereinafter “Rice”) as
the residential parent of their child. On appeal, Lewis contends that the trial court
judge had preconceived notions about the outcome of the case and, because of
those notions, acted arbitrarily and capriciously. Lewis also contends that the
court’s findings regarding Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, Parental Alienation
Syndrome, and her mental health are against the manifest weight of the
evidence. Finally, Lewis contends that designating Rice as the residential parent
is not in the best interest of the child. Because the trial court based much of its
decision on findings of fact not supported by competent and credible evidence,
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 2
we find merit in Lewis’s appeal. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial
court and remand this cause for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
I.
{¶2} Cherish Lewis gave birth to a baby girl (hereinafter “the Child”) on
August 8, 2004. The child was born extremely premature, with a very low birth
weight, and spent the first six months of her life in an incubator. On December 6,
2004, Rice filed a complaint to determine parentage. Genetic testing determined
that Rice is the father of the Child.
{¶3} After leaving the hospital, the Child lived with Lewis in her family home.
Also living with Lewis and the Child were Lewis’s father, mother, and three
sisters. Rice left the area to join the Marines sometime around the time of the
Child’s birth.
{¶4} Based on referrals from the hospital where the Child was born, the
Child received in-home therapy on a regular basis. This included physical
therapy, speech therapy, and developmental therapy.
{¶5} On August 29, 2005, the trial court granted parenting time for Rice
while he was home on military leave. However, Lewis denied Rice visitation,
claiming that Rice had not bonded with the Child or properly learned how to take
care of the Child.
{¶6} On January 4, 2006, the trial court permitted Regina Kelley (hereinafter
“Kelley”), Rice’s mother, to intervene as a party in the action.
{¶7} In May 2006, the Marines discharged Rice because he failed a drug
test for marijuana use. He lived in California after leaving the military.
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 3
{¶8} On July 6, 2006, a second trial court judge (hereinafter “Judge II”) was
assigned to the case. The first judge had to recuse himself because he was
running against Lewis’s attorney in the next election.
{¶9} Judge II held his first hearing on July 16, 2006. As a result of that
hearing, the trial court granted Kelley regular visitation with the Child. The trial
court also stated that Kelley was permitted to attend all of the Child’s therapy
sessions at the Lewis home.
{¶10} After a September 27, 2006 hearing, the trial court found Lewis in
contempt of court for denying Rice and Kelley visitation with the Child. The trial
court sentenced Lewis to 30 days in jail, but she was released the next day (on
September 28, 2006) when the Child was produced for visitation.
{¶11} An October 20, 2006 court order stated, in relevant part, the following:
(I.) that Kelley was entitled to grandparent visitation rights with the child; (II.) that
Rice was entitled to long distance visitation rights with the child; (III.) that the
Child’s last name would be changed to Rice; (IV.) that Rice was to pay child
support to Lewis; and (V.) that Lewis was to undergo counseling.
{¶12} In December 2006, Rice moved from California to Tampa, Florida.
{¶13} In May 2007, both Rice and Lewis filed contempt motions. Rice
claimed that Lewis had defied the trial court’s order by continuing to refuse him
visitation rights with the Child. And Lewis claimed that Rice had failed to pay
child support. Also sometime in May 2007, Rice moved to a different apartment
in Tampa.
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 4
{¶14} After a May 15, 2007 hearing, the trial court ordered that Rice would
have parenting time with the child from May 16 until May 18. Rice would then be
permitted to take the Child with him to Florida until August 9, 2007. Before
leaving for Florida, an uninterested party from either Children’s Services or
Catholic Social Services was to observe Rice’s interaction with the Child. Once
the Child arrived in Florida, the trial court allowed Lewis reasonable phone
visitation and parenting time with the Child. Additionally, the trial court made no
findings regarding either party’s contempt motions.
{¶15} Lewis did not make the Child available for Rice on May 16, 2007. In
fact, Lewis fled with the Child for a very brief period of time.
{¶16} On May 18, 2007, Lewis made the Child available to Rice. Because
Rice did not have the child from May 16 to May 18, the trial court allowed Rice to
take the Child to Florida without the previously ordered observation from Catholic
Social Services.
{¶17} On June 6, 2007, Rice filed a motion to modify custody.
{¶18} During an August 1, 2007 hearing, Rice testified that the Child was
happy, loving, and well adjusted while living with him in Florida. He also testified
that he did not continue the Child’s therapy because the child was normal and
healthy, and that a Tampa-area pediatrician had confirmed the Child’s health.
However, some of the Child’s therapists testified that it was detrimental for the
Child to stop receiving treatments.
{¶19} Also during that hearing, the trial court found Lewis in contempt for
failing to make the Child available to Rice on May 16. She was arrested after the
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 5
hearing and sentenced to 60 days in jail. She was released from jail on August
22, 2007.
{¶20} The trial court allowed Rice to take the Child back to Florida until
November 8, 2007. Additionally, the trial court suspended Rice’s child support
payments, ordered Lewis to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, and requested
guardians at litem for the Child in both Ohio and Florida. At one point during the
hearing, Judge II suggested that Lewis had Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.
{¶21} It is not entirely clear from the record, but at some time around
November 2007 the court considered Rice to have temporary custody of the
Child.
{¶22} At a November 2, 2007 hearing, the trial court allowed Lewis parental
visitation rights from that day until November 23. On November 23, Lewis and
Rice were to meet halfway between Ohio and Tampa, Florida for Lewis to return
the Child to Rice.
{¶23} During the afternoon of November 2, 2007, Lewis noticed bruising on
the Child and took the Child to the hospital. Both an investigator from Children’s
Services and a Deputy with the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office later testified that
they saw various bruises on the Child’s body. The investigator from Children’s
Services contacted Rice and asked Rice if he would voluntarily forego his
parental visitation with the Child that was to begin on November 23. Sometime
later, Rice told the investigator that he was not giving up his rights as to the
Child. On November 23, Lewis drove the Child to the scheduled meeting place,
but Rice did not show up.
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 6
{¶24} Sometime in January 2008, Rice moved to Lakeside, California.
{¶25} At a January 4, 2008 hearing, the trial court heard evidence regarding
the bruises on the Child and alleged child abuse by Rice and Kelley. Further, the
trial court heard testimony that the Child was afraid of Kelley during a chance
meeting at a local Wal-Mart. Also at this hearing, during the cross-examination
of Lewis, Kelley’s attorney asked her if she had heard of Parental Alienation
Syndrome.
{¶26} After hearing the evidence, the trial court refused to terminate or
modify Rice’s parental rights. The court also ordered the following: (I.) Kelley
had grandparent visitation rights while Lewis had the Child; (II.) Lewis had to pay
child support when the Child was returned to Rice; and (III.) that Lewis was to
undergo psychiatric evaluation for alienation of parental affection.
{¶27} Although it is not entirely clear from the record, Lewis then apparently
filed an emergency motion for protective custody with the juvenile court based on
the child abuse allegations. Apparently, that court granted Lewis temporary
custody of the Child. But following a hearing, that court apparently denied
Lewis’s motion on or about February 19, 2008.
{¶28} Lewis saw Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Tracy Toward
(hereinafter “Toward”) on February 12, 2008. It was the first time she had seen a
counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist during the proceedings. Lewis claimed
that she had a hard time finding professionals equipped to deal with Manchausen
Syndrome by Proxy or Parental Alienation Syndrome.
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 7
{¶29} Sometime between the January 4, 2008 hearing and February 20,
2008, Rice moved to Oceanside, California.
{¶30} The final hearing in front of Judge II took place on February 20, 2008.
At the hearing, the trial court heard testimony from Toward regarding Lewis’s
mental state. Toward testified that Lewis did not have either Munchausen
Syndrome by Proxy or Parental Alienation Syndrome. The court also heard more
testimony concerning the allegations of child abuse. Rice testified that the
bruises came from an accident the Child had while fishing on a pier. A deputy
with the Scioto County Sheriff’s office testified that his office had an open
investigation into the allegations. But the investigator from Children’s Services
testified that her office did not have an open investigation.
{¶31} Rice testified that he lived with his fiancé in Oceanside, California; that
he had enrolled the Child in a pre-school; and that the Child was happy and very
well adjusted while the Child was living with him.
{¶32} After meeting with the Child, Rice, Lewis, and other members of both
immediate families, the guardian ad litem in Ohio testified that she could not give
an opinion as to which parent should be designated the residential parent in the
Child’s best interest. The trial court apparently never considered the opinion of
the Florida guardian ad litem.
{¶33} The trial court found a change in circumstances and adopted the
Plaintiff’s Proposed Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law as an order of the
court. The order designated Rice as the residential parent, ordered Lewis to pay
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 8
child support, and set up a visitation schedule based on the school year in
California.
{¶34} Lewis appeals, asserting the following assignments of error: I. “The
trial judge abused his discretion and ruled arbitrarily and capriciously in favor of
Plaintiff/Appellee in granting him residential parentage of the parties’ minor child
wherein he had a pre-conceived [sic] notion as to what the outcome of the case
would be prior to even hearing any evidence.” II. “The trial judge imposed his
own ideas on medical matters in relation to the welfare of the child and he even
suggested that the Defendant/Appellant/mother had Munchousen’s Syndromes
[sic] and Parental Alienation Syndrome, which were both proven by
Defendant/Appellant’s expert witness in the matter to not exist in
Defendant/Appellant, which was against what the judge’s pre-conceived [sic]
notion as to how the case should outcome, which is against the manifest weight
of the evidence and against the outcome that he desired.” And, III. “The judge
ruled against the best interest of the child in not placing the child with the
Defendant/Appellant/mother when it was clear in the evidence that the father
refused to have the child treated pursuant to doctor’s orders, refused to learn
how to properly take care of the child in order to see to her developmental
problems, due to the child being an extreme pre-mature [sic] baby and receiving
treatment by occupational therapist, speech therapist, the case manager of
MRDD, and Children Services stated that the child had been abused while in the
possession of the Plaintiff/father, while on an extended visitation, when the
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 9
natural mother was desirous of prior to the extended visitation that the father
learn how to take care of the child properly.”
II.
{¶35} In her first assignment of error, Lewis contends that the preconceived
notions of Judge II caused the trial court to rule arbitrarily and capriciously in
Rice’s favor. Essentially, Lewis’s first assignment of error is a claim of judicial
bias against Lewis and in favor of Rice.
{¶36} “Judicial bias is ‘a hostile feeling or spirit of ill will or undue friendship
or favoritism toward one of the litigants or his attorney, with the formation of a
fixed anticipatory judgment on the part of the judge, as contradistinguished from
an open state of mind which will be governed by law and the facts.’” In re
Adoption of C.M.H., Hocking App. No. 07CA23, 2008-Ohio-1694, at ¶34, quoting
State ex rel. Pratt v. Weygandt (1956), 164 Ohio St. 463, paragraph four of the
syllabus. See, also, Cleveland Bar Association v. Cleary (2001), 93 Ohio St.3d
191, 201; Hirzel v. Ooten, Meigs App. Nos. 06CA10, 07CA13, 2008-Ohio-7006 at
¶62.
{¶37} As noted in In re Adoption of C.M.H. and Hirzel, we have “held that
such challenges of judicial prejudice and bias are not properly brought before this
Court. ‘Rather, [A]ppellant must make such a challenge under the provisions of
R.C. 2701.03, which requires an affidavit of prejudice to be filed with the
Supreme Court of Ohio.’” Hirzel at ¶63, quoting Baker v. Ohio Dept. of Rehab.
and Corr. (2001), 144 Ohio App.3d 740, 754. This Court does not have the
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 10
authority to void the judgment of a trial court because of alleged judicial bias. In
re Adoption of C.M.H. at ¶35.
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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:50 am

{¶38} Accordingly, we overrule Lewis’s first assignment of error.
III.
{¶39} In her second assignment of error, Lewis contends that the trial court’s
findings regarding Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy and Parental Alienation
Syndrome were against the manifest weight of the evidence. Because of our
ruling on Lewis’s first assignment of error, we will not again address Lewis’s
claim that Judge II was biased and had a desired outcome in this case.
{¶40} A trial court has broad discretion in determining parental custody
rights. Booth v. Booth (1989), 44 Ohio St.3d 142, 144. Therefore, a trial court's
custody determination will not be disturbed unless it involves an abuse of
discretion. Id. An abuse of discretion connotes that the trial court's decision was
arbitrary, unreasonable, or unconscionable. Blakemore v. Blakemore (1983), 5
Ohio St.3d 217, 219. The trial court has discretion to do what is equitable upon
the facts and circumstances of each child custody case. Booth at 144. As such,
a trial court does not abuse its discretion in an award of custody and its decision
will not be reversed as against the manifest weight of the evidence when it is
supported by a substantial amount of competent and credible evidence. Bechtol
v. Bechtol (1990), 49 Ohio St.3d 21, syllabus.
{¶41} We give deference to the trial court as the trier of fact because it is
best able to observe the witnesses and weigh the credibility of their testimony.
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 11
Seasons Coal Co. v. Cleveland (1984), 10 Ohio St.3d 77, 80. Finding an error in
law is legitimate grounds for reversal, but a difference of opinion on the credibility
of witnesses and evidence is not. Ralston v. Ralston, Marion App. No. 90830,
2009-Ohio-679, at ¶14, quoting Davis v. Flickinger (1997), 77 Ohio St.3d 415,
418-19. And although a trial court's discretion in a custody proceeding is broad,
it is not absolute. The trial court must follow the procedure described in R.C.
3109.04. Miller v. Miller (1988), 37 Ohio St.3d 71, 74
A. The Issue of Lewis’s Mental Health
{¶42} R.C. 3109.04(F)(1)(e) provides: “In determining the best interest of a
child pursuant to this section, whether on an original decree allocating parental
rights and responsibilities for the care of children or a modification of a decree
allocating those rights and responsibilities, the court shall consider all relevant
factors, including * * * [t]he mental and physical health of all persons involved in
the situation[.]”
{¶43} Because of that, a court “may order the parents and their minor
children to submit to medical, psychological, and psychiatric examinations.” R.C.
3109.04(C). Judge II ordered Lewis to undergo psychological evaluations for
Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy and Parental Alienation Syndrome. The first
mention of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy came during the August 1, 2007
hearing.
{¶44} THE COURT: I’m gonna order your client, counselor, Miss Lewis, to go
to psychiatric evaluation and at her own expense and just get some of these
problems taken care of. 8/1/07 transcript; p. 211, lines 9-12.
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 12
{¶45} MR. MARSHALL: What kind of psychiatric evaluation? 8/1/07
transcript; p. 211, lines 13-14.
{¶46} THE COURT: Well, the Court finds that she is Munchausen… what’s
the name of that? 8/1/07 transcript; p. 211, lines 15-16 (emphasis sic).
{¶47} MR. MARSHALL: Munchausen Disease. 8/1/07 transcript; p. 211, line
17.
{¶48} THE COURT: Yeah. I’m not a hundred percent (100%) that’s not what
she’s experiencing. She’s overly protective of her child is one thing I’m finding.
8/1/07 transcript; p. 211, lines 18-20.
{¶49} During the January 4, 2008 hearing, Judge II admitted that he sua
sponte suggested that Lewis had Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.
{¶50} Q: Where’d you come up with the idea of Munchausen’s Syn…
Syndrome? 1/4/08 transcript; p. 70, lines 7-8 (emphasis sic).
{¶51} A: Well, that’s what supposedly I had. 1/4/08 transcript; p. 70, line 9.
{¶52} Q: Had or have? 1/4/08 transcript; p. 70, line 10.
{¶53} A: Had. That’s what they said. 1/4/08 transcript; p. 70, line 11.
{¶54} MR. MARSHALL: Objection. That was suggested by the Court.
1/4/08 transcript; p. 70, lines 12-13.
{¶55} THE COURT: Well, that… that... 1/4/08 transcript; p. 70, line 14
(emphasis sic).
{¶56} Q: Is it, excuse me… 1/4/08 transcript; p. 70, line 15 (emphasis sic).
{¶57} THE COURT: …was my suggestion. 1/4/08 transcript; p. 70, line 16
(emphasis sic).
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 13
{¶58} MS. LEWIS: Thank you. 1/4/08 transcript; p. 70, line 17.
{¶59} Q: Has anybody mentioned the term Parental Alienation Syndrome to
you? 1/4/08 transcript; p. 70, lines 18-19.
{¶60} A: No. 1/4/08 transcript; p.70, line 20.
{¶61} MR. BERRY: I have no further questions, your honor. 1/4/08
transcript; p. 70, lines 21-22.
{¶62} Towards the end of the January 4, 2008 hearing, Judge II asked
Kelley’s lawyer about Parental Alienation Syndrome. It appears that Judge II had
not heard of Parental Alienation Syndrome before that day’s hearing.
{¶63} THE COURT: There’s been four (4) or five (5) things that the Court’s
ordered done and it hasn’t been done by Miss Lewis and I’m gonna add to the
things that should be done is that alienation of… of the other side’s family.
There’s a Syndrome you’re telling me on that? 1/4/08 transcript; p. 115, lines 3-8
(emphasis sic).
{¶64} MR. BERRY: It’s called Parental Alienation Syndrome, your Honor.
1/4/08 transcript; p. 115, lines 9-10.
{¶65} THE COURT: Well, that needs to be looked into. 1/4/08 transcript; p.
115 lines 11-12.
1. Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy
{¶66} A review of the record finds no attempt to define Munchausen
Syndrome by Proxy in either the Plaintiff’s Proposed Findings of Fact and
Conclusions of Law or the various hearings, filings, and court orders. Therefore,
we recognize the following definition in the present case: “Munchausen
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 14
syndrome by proxy (MSBP) is a form of child abuse in which a parent (almost
always the mother) consistently and chronically subjects a child to medical
attention without any ‘true’ medical condition or symptoms being present. * * * In
Munchausen syndrome by proxy, the child’s presenting symptoms are either
falsified or directly induced by the parent.” Curt R. Bartol & Anne M. Bartol,
Introduction to Forensic Psychology 384 (2008) (emphasis sic).
{¶67} Other than stating that Lewis was “overly protective of her child,” Judge
II did not offer a reason for suggesting that Lewis had Munchausen Syndrome by
Proxy. The Child did receive consistent medical attention for the first two years
of her life, but the record contains no evidence that Lewis either falsified or
induced the Child’s symptoms. It is undisputed that the Child was born extremely
premature. As a result, the Child spent the first six months of her life in an
incubator. Many of the therapists who treated the Child testified in the various
hearings, and none of them suggested that Lewis acted in a manner consistent
with Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.
{¶68} The testimony of Toward, the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
who evaluated Lewis, was the only evidence offered relating to Manchausen
Syndrome by Proxy. In a session lasting approximately five hours, Toward
administered a standardized personality test to Lewis and then interviewed her
for 30 to 45 minutes. (Toward also attempted some projective techniques with
the Child with little success.) Based on the results of her evaluation, Toward
testified that Lewis does not exhibit the signs of Munchausen Syndrome by
Proxy.
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 15
{¶69} Q: I noted on Page 9 that you reviewed medical records of [the child]
and found that based upon your viewing of the medical history of the child that…
does… does, in fact, within a reasonable degree of clinical certainty, does
Cherish Lewis exhibit signs of Munchausen’s Syndrome. 2/20/08 transcript; p
13, line 24 through p 14, line 5 (emphasis sic).
{¶70} A: No, she does not. Not only does she not exhibit any of the
observable traits of Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy but her entire personality
profile is very much polar opposite of what… 2/20/08 transcript; p. 14, lines 6-9
(emphasis sic).
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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:50 am

{¶71} Q: Of Munchausen’s. 2/20/08 transcript; p. 14, line 10.
{¶72} A: …one would expect from a person with that disorder or that
Syndrome as it’s called. 2/20/08 transcript; p. 14, lines 11-12.
{¶73} According to the Plaintiff’s Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions
of Law, the trial court “was not persuaded by [Toward’s] testimony.” That may
be, but there is simply no affirmative evidence in the record that Lewis exhibits
the signs of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. Rice did not produce an expert
witness to counter Toward's testimony, and he offered no evidence that Lewis
either falsified or caused the Child's health problems. Indeed, nowhere within the
record does the trial court ever discuss the symptoms of Munchausen Syndrome
by Proxy and how they might relate to Lewis.
2. Parental Alienation Syndrome
{¶74} As with Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, the testimony of Toward
was the only evidence offered on Parental Alienation Syndrome. “Toward stated
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 16
on cross-examination that there are essentially four criteria that make up
Parental Alienation Syndrome; (a.) A parent limiting access and blocking contact
with a child * * * (b.) False or unfounded accusations of abuse against a parent *
* * (c.) Deterioration in Relationship Since Separation * * * [and] (d.) Intense Fear
Reaction by Child.” Plaintiff’s Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law
Page 3.
{¶75} Toward testified that Lewis does not have Parental Alienation
Syndrome. During cross examination, Toward also testified that she did not have
a degree in psychiatry or psychology; that she had a Master’s Degree in
Community and Agency Counseling; that she did not interview Rice or review his
social history, which is part of her preferred protocol in evaluating Parental
Alienation Syndrome; and that some of the factors of Parental Alienation
Syndrome were present with Lewis. But Toward attributed those factors to other
reasons and not Parental Alienation Syndrome. “Because those… because
those characteristics can also be present in parental alienation for legitimate
causes.” 2/20/08 transcript; p. 51, lines 13-15 (emphasis sic).
{¶76} The Plaintiff’s Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law
mischaracterize the methods Toward used in evaluating Lewis. It says that
Toward “did not follow her own protocol (e.g.: interviewing [Rice]), [but] merely
reviewed the court docket, accepted [Lewis’s] explanation that she only interfered
with [Rice’s] parenting time out of concern and simply accepted [Rice’s] claim
that there was some sexual or physical abuse of the child by [Rice].” Plaintiff’s
Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law Page 3. However, Toward
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 17
testified that she administered the “the Family Social History Questionnaire and
Personal History Report; the 16PF which is a standardized testing instrument
that’s been reliable and validated for forty-five (45) years; the Rotter Incomplete
Sentence Blank which is a projective technique and several other projective
techniques and self reports. There were seven (7) instruments used as well as a
diagnostic interview.” 2//20/08 transcript; p. 9, lines 2-9.
{¶77} Based on these instruments, Toward testified that there was objective
evidence that Lewis’s personality does not fit the typical profile for Parental
Alienation Syndrome.
{¶78} A: “But the standardized testing is the crux of my evaluations and
these standardized tests… this one in particular does have what we call in our
field sort of a lie… a built in lie detector and it will… it will bring to light if a person
is being… trying to present themselves in a more favorable light or a less
favorable light for some reason and the first factor that was noted was that Miss
Lewis’ test was indeed valid. She scored very low on the factor where she would
attempt to present herself in a more positive light. Again, I would… which then
makes the testing valid for one thing. But then I would also refer to the fact that,
as I state later in the assessment, persons with parental… who exhibit Parental
Alienation Syndrome typically… and they have found this over a broad spectrum
of standardized testing that they typically score high in the social desirability
attempt to present self well, denial, projection, so forth. Those types of defense
mechanisms and no where in Miss Lewis’ testing did she… did she score
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 18
anywhere within… near those areas.” 2/20/08 transcript; p. 15, line 14 to p. 16,
line 10 (emphasis sic).
{¶79} Q: So, the test is valid and you feel reasonably, medically certain…
clinically certain that she has neither Munchausen’s Syndrome nor Parental
Alienation Syndrome? 2/20/08 transcript; p. 16, lines 11-14.
{¶80} A: Yes. And a thorough review of my report should leave little to no
question.1 2/20/08 transcript; p. 16, lines 15-16.
{¶81} The trial court did not find Toward’s testimony persuasive. See
Plaintiff’s Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law Page 8. “This
Court is not trained in Ms. Toward’s field but this Court believes three (3) of the
four (4) criteria for Parental Alienation Syndrome exist in this case and Ms.
Toward’s simple acceptance that Defendant has not interfered with contact, that
the abuse allegations were true and that the other two criteria do not exist is
simply contrary to what this court’s view of the facts of this case are and this
Court’s long judicial experience.” Id. at Page 4 (emphasis added). We find the
“simple acceptance” language in the Plaintiff’s Proposed Findings of Fact and
Conclusions of Law significant. That language inaccurately describes Toward’s
testimony and, therefore, distorts her methodology in evaluating Lewis. “The trier
of fact is free to believe or disbelieve any witness, including an expert witness.”
McCabe v. Sitar, Belmont App. No. 06BE39, 2008-Ohio-3242, at ¶24, citing In re
Baby Girl Doe, 149 Ohio App.3d 717, 735, 2002-Ohio-4470, at ¶ 75. However,
the following is true in the present case: (I.) the trial court’s entire knowledge of
1 Toward’s report was not admitted into evidence.
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 19
Parental Alienation Syndrome came from the expert it chose to disbelieve; and
(II.) according to the Plaintiff’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, the trial
court chose to disbelieve a distorted version of Toward’s findings.
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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:51 am

{¶82} The trial court took its definition of the syndrome from Toward and
accepted her testimony on the subject. No psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed
counselor other than Toward evaluated Lewis. Indeed, no affirmative evidence
was offered to show that Lewis has Parental Alienation Syndrome. The trial
court ignored Toward’s clinical opinion, including her reliance on the objective
personality assessments, without hearing expert testimony to the contrary. And
from a review of the transcript, Judge II had likely never heard of Parental
Alienation Syndrome before the January 4, 2008 hearing. Essentially, the trial
court started with the assumption that Lewis had Parental Alienation Syndrome
and placed the burden on her to prove that she did not.
B. Lewis’s Mental Health and the Trial Court’s Analysis
{¶83} For the foregoing reasons, we do not find competent and credible
evidence in the record that Lewis exhibits signs of either Munchausen Syndrome
by Proxy or Parental Alienation Syndrome. The trial court’s findings in these
areas are against the manifest weight of the evidence. Therefore, we find that
the trial court abused its discretion to the extent it considered either Munchausen
Syndrome by Proxy or Parental Alienation Syndrome when determining the best
interest of the Child.
{¶84} The trial court determined that Parental Alienation Syndrome made
judicial intervention necessary. The court concluded that it “does not know
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 20
whether Defendant has Parental Alienation Syndrome but that it believes
Defendant (and her family) have engaged clearly in two of the four criteria and
the third (Deterioration in Relationship) and fourth (intense fear by child) criteria
will exist if early judicial intervention does not occur.” Plaintiff’s Proposed
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law Page 4 (emphasis added). The only
witness qualified to testify called Lewis’s actions “situationally appropriate” and
not signs of Parental Alienation Syndrome. 2/20/08 transcript; p. 53, line 9.
Nevertheless, the trial court stated that judicial intervention was necessary to
counter the syndrome’s effects.
{¶85} And when analyzing the statutory factors outlined in R.C.
3109.04(F)(1), the trial court considered both Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy
and Parental Alienation Syndrome. “The Court on at least two occasions order
[SIC] psychological/psychiatric testing of the Defendant in order to determine if
she exhibits signs of either Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy or Parental
Alienation Syndrome. The Defendant failed to comply with either of these orders
until February 8, 2008. The Court heard the testimony of the Licensed
Professional Clinical Counselor that was presented by the defendant and was not
persuaded by her testimony.” Plaintiff’s Proposed Findings of Fact and
Conclusions of Law, p. 8 (emphasis added). Because of the trial court’s analysis,
this factor weighed against Lewis and benefited Rice in determining the best
interest of the Child.
{¶86} The trial court had two factors under R.C. 3109.04(F)(1) in which to
consider parental alienation. R.C. 3109.04(F)(1)(f) states that courts should
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 21
consider the “parent more likely to honor and facilitate court-approved parenting
time rights or visitation and companionship rights.” And R.C. 3109.04(F)(1)
states that courts should consider whether “the residential parent * * * has
continuously and willfully denied the other parent's right to parenting time in
accordance with an order of the court.” Based on Lewis’s history of blocking
access to the Child, the trial court decided both of these factors in Rice’s favor.
But the trial court decided a third factor in Rice’s favor by discussing these same
facts in a Parental Alienation Syndrome and mental health context. As a result,
the trial court weighed the listed factors in R.C. 3109.04(F)(1) too heavily in
Rice’s favor. Therefore, we find that the trial court abused its discretion to the
extent it considered Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy or Parental Alienation
Syndrome in determining the best interest of the Child
{¶87} Accordingly, we sustain Lewis’s second assignment of error.
IV.
{¶88} In her third assignment of error, Lewis contends that designating Rice
as the residential parent was against the best interest of the child.2 We find that
2 In its order adopting and approving the Plaintiff’s Proposed Findings of Fact and
Conclusions of Law, the trial court erroneously stated that there was a change in
circumstance. Courts apply the change in circumstance test under R.C. 3109.04(E)(1)
when a party seeks to modify a prior custody decree. However, the present case involves
an initial custody determination; it is not a modification. Because of R.C. 3109.042, Rice
and Lewis stand “upon equality when making the designation” of the residential parent.
The trial court correctly applied the best interest of the child test under R.C. 3109.04(F).
See, e.g., DeWitt v. Myers, Clark App. No. 08CA86, 2009-Ohio-807, at ¶15-16; In re
Colvin, Guernsey App. No. 08CA5, 2008-Ohio-3927, at ¶12-22; In re Ramey (Dec. 22,
1999), Washington App. Nos. 98CA4, 98CA28. Since the trial court applied the correct
test and made no findings under R.C. 3109.04(E)(1), it had no reason to state that there
had been a change in circumstance. Therefore, we choose to ignore that finding as
superfluous to the trial court’s decision.
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 22
three of the trial court’s findings under R.C. 3109.04(F)(1) are not supported by
competent and credible evidence.
{¶89} Initially, as we discussed above, the trial court should not have
considered Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy or Parental Alienation Syndrome
when considering the best interest of the Child under R.C. 3109.04(F)(1)(e). This
was against the manifest weight of the evidence and, therefore, an abuse of
discretion. For the same reasons, the trial court abused its discretion when it
considered Lewis’s supposed Parental Alienation Syndrome outside of the
factors specifically enumerated in R.C. 3109.04(F)(1).
{¶90} Pursuant to R.C. 3109.04(F)(1)(d), the trial court considered the
“child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school, and community[.]” The court said
it “heard testimony as to the child’s adjustment to her home, pre-school and
community. * * * [Rice] testified that the child enjoyed her time with him; that she
adapted well to his home and began to thrive while in his care.” Plaintiff’s
Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law Page 7-8. The court may
have heard testimony that the Child thrived while in Rice’s care, but there was no
competent, credible evidence that the Child had adjusted to Rice’s home,
community, or future pre-school.
{¶91} Rice had five different addresses in fifteen months. He was in the
Marines when the case started. After being discharged from the Marines, Rice
moved to San Diego, California in October 2006. In December 2006, Rice
moved to Tampa, Florida. Sometime in 2007, he moved to a different apartment
in Tampa. Rice then moved to Lakeside, California in January 2008. And at the
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 23
time of the February 20, 2008 hearing, he lived in Oceanside, California. The
Child had not yet been to Rice’s residence in Oceanside. Therefore, there was
no evidence that the Child had adjusted to Rice’s home or community. Rice
testified that he had enrolled the Child in a pre-school in California. But again,
there could be no evidence that the Child had adjusted to a pre-school she had
never attended.
{¶92} Pursuant to R.C. 3109.04(F)(1)(g), the trial court considered whether
“either parent has failed to make all child support payments, including all
arrearages, that are required of that parent pursuant to a child support order
under which that parent is an obligor[.]” The trial court stated that Lewis had filed
two contempt motions for nonpayment of child support, but the court “has
withheld ruling on either of these motions.” Plaintiff’s Proposed Findings of Fact
and Conclusions of Law Page 8. Regardless, there was evidence presented
during the various hearings that Rice had failed to pay child support for extended
periods of the Child’s life. The trial court must follow the procedures described in
R.C. 3109.04 to determine the best interest of the Child. Miller v. Miller (1988),
37 Ohio St.3d 71, 74. This includes considering the nonpayment of child
support. Merely stating that it “withheld ruling” on Lewis’s support motions does
not adequately satisfy this factor, especially when there is competent and
credible evidence that Rice had withheld child support.
{¶93} We do find that competent and credible evidence supports the trial
court’s belief that Rice is the “parent more likely to honor and facilitate courtapproved
parenting time rights or visitation and companionship rights”; and that
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 24
Lewis “had continuously and willfully denied the other parent’s right to parenting
time in accordance with an order of the court.” R.C. 3109.04(F)(1)(f)&(j). Lewis
was found in contempt of court twice for violating court orders and spent time in
jail on those contempt charges. Similarly, the record shows that Lewis tried to
deny Rice visitation with the Child on numerous occasions, and that Lewis even
fled with the Child for a very brief time before turning the Child over to Rice.
{¶94} However, the trial court relied on too many factors that were not
supported by competent and credible evidence to determine the best interest of
the Child. Therefore, we find that the trial court abused its discretion in
determining the best interest of the child.
{¶95} Accordingly, we sustain Lewis’s third assignment of error. We reverse
the trial court's judgment and remand this cause to the trial court for further
proceedings consistent with this opinion. We offer no opinion on the best interest
of the Child, or whether Rice or Lewis should be declared the residential parent.
JUDGMENT REVERSED AND
CAUSE REMANDED.
Scioto App. No. 08CA3238 25
JUDGMENT ENTRY
It is ordered that the JUDGMENT BE REVERSED and this cause BE
REMANDED to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion
and Appellee pay the costs herein taxed.
The Court finds there were reasonable grounds for this appeal.
It is ordered that a special mandate issue out of this Court directing the
Scioto County Common Pleas Court, Domestic Relations Division, to carry this
judgment into execution.
A certified copy of this entry shall constitute the mandate pursuant to Rule
27 of the Rules of Appellate Procedure. Exceptions.
Harsha, J.: Concurs in Judgment Only.
Abele, J.: Concurs in Judgment and Opinion.
For the Court
BY:
Roger L. Kline, Presiding Judge
NOTICE TO COUNSEL
Pursuant to Local Rule No. 14, this document constitutes a final
judgment entry and the time period for further appeal commences from the
date of filing with the clerk.
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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:52 am

Claudeen Rice, 56
1 month ago | 351 views | 0 | 4 | | Claudeen “Deen” Kay Rice, 56, of Portsmouth, passed away July 16, 2009, at Riverside Hospital in Columbus.

She was born June 22, 1953, in Portsmouth. She was preceded in death by her mother, Elizabeth Davis; one brother, Larry Davis; and one sister, Eunice Fox.

Surviving are her husband, Russell Rice; one son, Benjamin “Benji” Carr of West Portsmouth; one daughter, Dawa “Renee” Romans of Portsmouth; three stepdaughters, Regina (Tom) Kelley of Sciotoville, Rachel Riddle of Middlesboro, Ky., and Rhonda (Gary) Cooper of Portsmouth; six grandchildren, Randi Carr, Ricki Redoutey, Laci Carr, Benji Carr Jr., Edwin Smith Jr., and Jennifer Smith; and eight stepgrandchildren, Stephen (Meagan) Rice, Stacy Cooper, Sean Freeman, Tyler Riddle, Tiffany Cooper, Torri Kelley, Zach Riddle, and Cierra Cooper; two great-grandchildren, Josiah “Jo-Jo” Carr and Kameron Newman; and three stepgreat-grandchildren, Jaelyn Rice, Levigh Cooper, and Abreya Cooper. Also surviving are three brothers, Dawny Davis of Delaware, David Davis of Florida, and Steve Davis of Las Vegas.

Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Monday at Melcher Funeral Home in Portsmouth, with the Rev. John Gowdy officiating. Burial will be at Mount Zion Cemetery. Friends may call at Melcher Funeral Home from noon to 2 p.m. Monday
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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:34 am

Aunt of Jaelyn Rice Arrested



http://crimesearchersonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1057& catid=27:missing-persons&Itemid=130

Investigators looking into the apparent purposeful hiding of four-year-old Jaelyn Rice say they have information that the child’s aunt, Jessica D. Lewis, 19, sister of Jaelyn’s non-custodial mother, Cherish N. Lewis, had been holding Jaelyn, but fled the area before deputies serving a warrant for her arrest could execute the warrant and recover the child.

According to a week-old report in the Portsmouth [Ohio] Daily Times, the two sisters had been living at the same address in Wheelersburg, Ohio.

The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office told the Daily Times that credible evidence surfaced indicating that Jessica Lewis may have been holding the child when investigators were following up on a tip that Jaelyn may have been sighted by a witness in Minsford, Ohio.
Scioto Sheriff’s Captain David Hall indicated that other acquaintances of Cherish Lewis may have been interfering with the investigation into Jaelyn’s disappearance, and if evidence warrants, more arrests could be made.

“Charges right now are still pending on some other people,” Hall said. “If people are located with that child or are obstructing the investigation, they will be charged accordingly.”
Hall also told the Times that if Jaelyn had been taken to another state, that would raise the criminal degree in the obstruction charge from a misdemeanor to a felony

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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:59 am

Donini said the Sheriff’s Office became involved last week.

“Last week around Wednesday or Thursday, we had an interference with custody report, which was actually given to us by the (Portsmouth) Police Department,” Donini said. “The PD had the child entered and they took the child out of NCIC (National Crime Information Center) as a missing person. Our people put it in the day we got the report which was probably a week ago or longer.”

Donini said, after a discussion, he determined it was not a missing person case because the biological mother knew the child’s whereabouts.

“We brought her (Lewis) out and questioned her and asked if the child is missing. And she basically said no, she knows exactly where the child is,” Donini said. “She’s just not going to tell the judge.”

Donini said his office was in communication with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, and with Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn, and the decision was made not to enter the child’s name in the registry.

Donini said, after a conversation with the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s LEADS (Law Enforcement Automated Data System) officials, he was told the child could not be entered into the system unless a missing person report is filed.

After Scioto County Sheriff’s Detective Jodi Conkel contacted the father in Florida, he filed the report, “because he’s the custodial parent, and he did not know where the child was at that point and time.

LEADS said, based on that, we could re-enter the child. And that’s what we did, re-enter her, based on that,” Donini said. “Normally, a missing person, no one knows where they are. But in this case, someone does know, which is the mother, which is not the custodial parent.”
Donini said a tip lead them to a residence on Coriell Road, where they were permitted to search, but found no sign of the child.

Donini said this isn’t the first time Lewis has been jailed for contempt of court.

Lewis was reportedly booked on Aug. 1, 2007, and released on Aug. 22, 2007, and booked again on Sept. 22, 2006. That time she was released on Sept. 28, 2007.

Attorney J.B. Marshall, Jr., who had represented Lewis, told the Portsmouth Daily Times Monday he recently won a unanimous decision in an appeal in the case, in the Court of Appeals.

Marshall expects to make a copy of the briefs filed by his office and the ruling in the case on Tuesday for a possible follow-up story on the case.

Lewis’ current attorney, Holly Regoli of Lancaster, was not immediately reachable Monday.


http://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com...ws_left_column
Broken Link

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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:36 am

Wheelersburg Child Missing

by Frank Lewis

A child missing from Wheelersburg is officially listed on the Web site for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and her mother is in the Scioto County Jail on contempt charges.

Jaelyn Rice, a 4-year-old, described as having blonde hair and blue eyes, has been missing since July 16, but did not become listed as missing until last week when her father, Stephen A. Rice, of 4813 West Flamingo Road, Tampa, Fla., issued a missing persons report. Prior to the filing, the incident was being treated as a domestic dispute because the mother reportedly knows where the child is but refuses to give the whereabouts of the child to authorities.

The mother, Cherish N. Lewis, of 709 Herms Hill Road, Wheelersburg, is incarcerated in the Scioto County Jail, and according to Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini, has been ordered to remain in jail until she reveals the whereabouts of the child.

Judge Frederick W. Crow III, was assigned to hear the case after a conflict in the original case, involving Judge David Spears in Scioto County Domestic Relations Court, resulted in that court contacting the Ohio Supreme Court for someone to come in and hear the case.

Donini said the Sheriff’s Office became involved last week.

“Last week around Wednesday or Thursday, we had an interference with custody report, which was actually given to us by the (Portsmouth) Police Department,” Donini said. “The PD had the child entered and they took the child out of NCIC (National Crime Information Center) as a missing person. Our people put it in the day we got the report which was probably a week ago or longer.”

Donini said, after a discussion, he determined it was not a missing person case because the biological mother knew the child’s whereabouts.

“We brought her (Lewis) out and questioned her and asked if the child is missing. And she basically said no, she knows exactly where the child is,” Donini said. “She’s just not going to tell the judge.”

Donini said his office was in communication with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, and with Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn, and the decision was made not to enter the child’s name in the registry.

Donini said, after a conversation with the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s LEADS (Law Enforcement Automated Data System) officials, he was told the child could not be entered into the system unless a missing person report is filed.

After Scioto County Sheriff’s Detective Jodi Conkel contacted the father in Florida, he filed the report, “because he’s the custodial parent, and he did not know where the child was at that point and time. LEADS said, based on that, we could re-enter the child. And that’s what we did, re-enter her, based on that,” Donini said. “Normally, a missing person, no one knows where they are. But in this case, someone does know, which is the mother, which is not the custodial parent.”

Donini said a tip lead them to a residence on Coriell Road, where they were permitted to search, but found no sign of the child.

Donini said this isn’t the first time Lewis has been jailed for contempt of court.

Lewis was reportedly booked on Aug. 1, 2007, and released on Aug. 22, 2007, and booked again on Sept. 22, 2006. That time she was released on Sept. 28, 2007.

Attorney J.B. Marshall, Jr., who had represented Lewis, told the Portsmouth Daily Times Monday he recently won a unanimous decision in an appeal in the case, in the Court of Appeals.

Marshall expects to make a copy of the briefs filed by his office and the ruling in the case on Tuesday for a possible follow-up story on the case.

Lewis’ current attorney, Holly Regoli of Lancaster, was not immediately reachable Monday.

FRANK LEWIS may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232.

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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:38 am

Aunt of Jaelyn Rice Arrested



http://crimesearchersonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1057&
Investigators looking into the apparent purposeful hiding of four-year-old Jaelyn Rice say they have information that the child’s aunt, Jessica D. Lewis, 19, sister of Jaelyn’s non-custodial mother, Cherish N. Lewis, had been holding Jaelyn, but fled the area before deputies serving a warrant for her arrest could execute the warrant and recover the child.

According to a week-old report in the Portsmouth [Ohio] Daily Times, the two sisters had been living at the same address in Wheelersburg, Ohio.

The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office told the Daily Times that credible evidence surfaced indicating that Jessica Lewis may have been holding the child when investigators were following up on a tip that Jaelyn may have been sighted by a witness in Minsford, Ohio.
Scioto Sheriff’s Captain David Hall indicated that other acquaintances of Cherish Lewis may have been interfering with the investigation into Jaelyn’s disappearance, and if evidence warrants, more arrests could be made.

“Charges right now are still pending on some other people,” Hall said. “If people are located with that child or are obstructing the investigation, they will be charged accordingly.”
Hall also told the Times that if Jaelyn had been taken to another state, that would raise the criminal degree in the obstruction charge from a misdemeanor to a felony.

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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:39 am

Links to public info



Here are some links:
http://www.sciotocountycpcourt.org/c...sen=04PD000736
http://www.sciotocountycpcourt.org/ (click search, top right. Type in "Rice, Stephen" or "Lewis, Cherish". Four seperate dockets come up. Some date back in detail to 2004.

Theres very interesting comments and links on many of these blogs:

http://www.topix.com/forum/city/new-...RJPSLAV7S9E/p8

http://crimesearchersonline.com/inde...html&Itemid=60

http://crimesearchersonline.com/inde...html&Itemid=60

http://www.topix.com/forum/city/new-...RJPSLAV7S9E/p8

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PostSubject: Re: Jaelyn Elizabeth Paige Rice (4) 8/16/09 Wheelersburg,OH   Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:26 am






Search for 5-Year-Old Missing Girl Continues
http://www.wsaz.com/news/headlines/53568162.html
Scioto County Sheriff's deputies continued their search Friday for a missing 5-year-old girl, hidden away by her mother in a bitter child custody dispute.

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Scioto County Sheriff's deputies continued their search Friday for a missing 5-year-old girl, hidden away by her mother in a bitter child custody dispute.

Family and friends of little Jaelyn Rice's father, who lives in Florida, said they fear for the child's physical and mental well-being. Jaelyn is listed on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's Web site.

The girl's mother, Cherish Lewis of Wheelersburg, Ohio, was jailed nearly a month ago for refusing to tell a judge where her daughter was hidden.

The mother's sister, Jessica Lewis, is now wanted by police for interfering in custody.

Officials with a legal aid group assisting the Lewis family said evidence shows the father is an abusive parent, allegations the rice family denies.

Scioto County Sheriff Marty Donini said this investigation is frustrating because it puts a 5-year-old child in the middle of some adult legal differences.

If you have any information that might help deputies find Jaelyn Rice, please call the Scioto County Sheriff's Department.



PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Detectives say they have a suspect in the case of a missing 5-year-old girl in Scioto County.

The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office has issued an arrest warrant for 19-year-old Jessica Lewis of Wheelersburg, Ohio. The warrant charges Lewis with “interference in custody.”

The case involves 5-year-old Jaelyn Rice.

Rice’s biological mother, 22-year-old Cherish Lewis, is currently in the Scioto County Jail after failing to reveal the child’s whereabouts. She has been in jail since a hearing on July 24. Jessica Lewis is Cherish Lewis’ sister.

Investigators say Jessica Lewis and Rice were believed to have been staying at a residence on Coriell Road in Minford until the end of July when they fled the area.

Detectives believe Lewis and the child are still in the Tri-State area.

Sheriff Marty Donini says the investigation has been difficult and frustrating because additional information indicates that known acquaintances of the biological mother are possibly aiding in delaying the child's recovery.

Donini also says that any person who knowingly interferes, impedes, or causes a delay in the safe return of the child will be arrested.

Anyone with information on the pair is asked to call the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office at 740-354-7566.

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