To read the initial story about the family, click here.
The rural Kentucky parents at the center of a custody battle that has shocked the homeschool and off-grid communities are staying upbeat and hope to get their 10 children back soon, a family friend says.
“They’re being positive. They want to get their kids back. They’re not trying to be overly critical of the authorities,” family friend Pace Ellsworth told Off The Grid News.
The 10 children were seized Wednesday from the parents, Joe and Nicole Naugler, following an anonymous tip that apparently related to their style of off-grid living. The family is also part of the “unschooling” movement, a type of homeschooling.
A hearing is scheduled for Monday. As of now, officials have placed the children with four families in four different counties, and as of Friday morning, the parents had not spoken with them. The four families are families that Kentucky’s version of CPS chose – families the Nauglers don’t know.
The ease with which sheriff deputies were able to take the kids may have been the most shocking.
But the family has received some good news since Wednesday. The mom is out of jail after being arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. (She says she was arrested because she did not passively allow deputies to take her children.)
Also, CPS visited the family’s home on Friday morning and issued a good report on the living conditions, Ellsworth said. The Naugler’s attorney – considered by the family the best in the county – was present.
“CPS was very kind. They OK’d just about everything,” Ellsworth said.
Off The Grid News broke the story about the family Thursday and it soon went viral. Bill Heid, founder of Off The Grid News and owner of Solutions From Science, was so moved by the tragedy that he donated a solar generator to the Nauglers.
Also, a GoFundMe.com fundraiser for the family for legal fees had raised $19,000 as of Friday afternoon – well more than the 10,000 goal.
The family lives in a cabin on 26 acres in Breckinridge County, about an hour southwest of Louisville.
The father manages the homestead, while the mother – who is five-months pregnant — is a pet groomer. They have a garden and raise animals.
In essence, the family is living like America’s Founding Fathers lived – an off-grid, self-sustaining, close-to-nature life.
The family may be off grid, but they aren’t anonymous. They have Internet, as well as a Facebook page dating back to 2012 where they frequently post pictures and videos of their children, animals and their off-grid life. A May 5 post showed a video of a toddler, Mosiah, learning to walk. An April 24 post showed a happy family, gathering around a campfire, roasting marshmallows.