QUEEN CREEK, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Kelly “KJ” Conklin, a 12-year-old boy who ran away with an older brother on Tuesday afternoon, has been found.
KJ had been last seen at the Walmart in Queen Creek, near Rittenhouse and Ellsworth roads, also on Tuesday, around 8 p.m. The older sibling, a 14-year-old boy, came back home, and that’s when investigators looked into the parents.
According to PCSO, detectives interviewed Conklin’s parents and other children in the home while investigating the boy’s disappearance. Kelly Conklin, 46, and Melissa Conklin, 39, were arrested on child abuse charges that deputies say are not directly tied to the disappearance of KJ. The two faced a judge on Friday afternoon. A bond of $5,000 was set for Kelly, while Melissa was allowed to be released on her own recognizance.
Deputies say there were eight kids in the house, ranging in age from 1 to 17 years old. PCSO says five of them are adopted, including KJ. Two others are foster kids, and one is the biological child. The Department of Child Safety has taken custody of the kids, PCSO said.
PCSO is asking neighbors to check their security cameras for videos of two children walking near Combs and Gantzel roads on Tuesday afternoon. For some, the arrests didn’t come as a shock because they’ve heard and seen Kelly Conklin make what they say are questionable parenting decisions.
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