Irish traveler families in court get daughters back from South Carolina D.S.S.

Several Irish Traveler were in court Monday fighting to bring their daughters home.
Several Irish Traveler were in court Monday fighting to bring their daughters home.

AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Several Irish Traveler were in court Monday fighting to bring their daughters home.

Shortly before 1 p.m. a 13-year-old was released back to her parents.

Around 4:30 p.m. a judge granted three more Murphy Village minors their release from the states custody.

This all started when 6 girls were taken from their families by D.S.S. back on August 24th.

D.S.S. policy says that if the court grants an extensions, D.S.S. has up to 60 days, including weekends and holidays, to complete an investigation.

On day 62, three families appeared in Aiken County Family Court to get custody of four girls.

There is still one Murphy Village minor in the states custody.

After a first attempt to get the girls back proved unsuccessful, the families hired a new attorney.

He was in negotiations with D.S.S. all day on Monday.

That led to fours girls being released back to their parents.

D.S.S. will not comment on the case, but Irish Travelers tell NewsChannel 6 the girls were taken after allegations of sexual abuse and claims that the minors were married.

Travelers say those allegations were based on pictures posted to social media as well as anonymous tips.

The family of the 13-year-old was allowed to pick her up after school on Monday.

The other 3, 2 of which are sisters, will be picked up sometime Monday evening or Tuesday morning.

One more Murphy Village minor’s family will appear in Edgefiled County on Tuesday to try and get her back.

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story. 


AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Three of the Irish traveler families of Murphy Village are back in court Monday, pushing to get their daughters back from D.S.S.

The whole thing started August 24th, when six girls were taken from their families by D.S.S.

DSS’s policy says that if the court grants an extension, D.S.S. has up to 60 days, including weekends and holidays to complete an investigation.

Monday, on Day 62, three families appeared in Aiken Family Court to get custody of four girls.

The travelers say DSS was taking the girls first communion pictures out of context and found no evidence of any sexual abuse.

1 of the 6 girls was released back to her family a few weeks ago. Leaving 5 girls between the ages of 6 and 13 in the states custody.

After a first attempt to get the girls back proved unsuccessful, the families hired a new attorney—Pete Strom out of Columbia.

Strom has been negotiating all day inside the courtroom with D.S.S., and that led to one girl, a 13-year-old, being released before the court recessed around Noon.

D.S.S. will not comment on the case, but Irish Travelers tell NewsChannel 6 the girls were taken after allegations of sexual abuse and claims that the minors were married.  They say those allegations were based on pictures posted to social media as well as anonymous tips.

The Travelers say the pictures D.S.S. was investigating were pictures of the girls’ first communion and there is no evidence of any sexual abuse.

The family of the 13-year-old released on Monday was allowed to pick her up after to school and take her back home to Murphy Village.

The final girls family will have to appear in Edgefield County for family court on Tuesday.

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s