Kidnapping suspect apprehended; deplorable conditions led to removal order

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

Kenneth Greg Owens, the Griffin man being sought for allegedly kidnapping two of his children, has been apprehended by the Griffin Police Department.
According to Lt. Mike Richardson, of the GPD Criminal Investigation Division, the past 24 hours was crucial to the case.
“During the last 24 hours, investigators from the Griffin Police Department have been following up leads to the possible location of Kenneth Greg Owens and his two missing children,” Richardson wrote in a press release. “On Aug. 25, 2014, a court order was issued ordering Kenneth Greg Owens and Kelly Bunn’s two sons, Kenneth Luke Owens, 11-years-old, and Kaden Owens, nine-years-old, into the custody of the state. Just prior to the court date, Mr. Owens fled Griffin with his two sons and has been on the run with them since then.”
Authorities say after investigators checked numerous locations in west-central Georgia area throughout Monday night, Owens on Tuesday morning made contact with a Griffin attorney. In turn, the attorney contacted the Police Department and arranged for Owens to turn himself in and release his children to the state.
“Early this afternoon two officers from the Special Investigations Unit of the Griffin Police Department made contact with Mr. Owens at the attorney’s office, at which time he was taken into custody without incident,” Richardson wrote. “Investigator Kelly McKinney took custody of the children and has since placed them in the care and custody of the Department of Family and Children Services. At the time of their recovery, the children appeared to be in good health.”
In a later interview, McKinney said the removal order placing custody with the DFCS was granted Aug. 25 after numerous attempts to contact the parents were rebuffed.
“It’s been an ongoing investigation. The parents – Kelly Bunn and Kenneth Greg Owens – did not cooperate and did not adhere with their hearings. Every time DFCS tried to go over there, they would not open their doors. Even when law enforcement went over there, they wouldn’t open their doors,” McKinney said. “DFCS had made numerous attempts to make contact and determine the welfare of the children and they couldn’t do it. The basis (of the removal order) was that they – the parents – the not comply; they didn’t appear for any of their hearings.”
McKinney said Bunn’s and Owens’ failure to appear for an Aug. 21 hearing resulted in a second hearing being scheduled for Aug. 25. The parents’ failure to appear for this second hearing resulted in the removal order being signed by Juvenile Court Judge Ben Miller.
She said DFCS case workers attempted to make contact with the parents, but were unable to do so.
A third hearing that had been scheduled for Sept. 3, which would have served to inform Bunn and Owens of the basis of the removal order and what steps would be necessary to regain custody of their children, was also disregarded.
“Sept. 3 is when I was told there was an order for them to be placed in DFCS custody. That’s when I was advised by Juvenile Court that there was a signed order for them to be removed from the home,” McKinney said. “I felt like the children were possibly in the home because they didn’t attend school that day. After many attempts to get someone to come to the door, we finally breached the residence and gained entry.”
Once inside the residence, McKinney said she and other investigators were overwhelmed by the scene they discovered.
“It was deplorable. You couldn’t move throughout the house. There was waist-high garbage throughout the home. There were human and animal feces throughout the home. The roof was leaking and falling in,” she said. “I don’t know how to explain it. I’ve never seen anything like it. In fact, when we came out of the house, we were literally throwing up.”
After initially refusing to make contact with authorities, Bunn was eventually taken into custody Sept. 3.
“After many attempts to get someone to come to the door, we finally made entry into the residence and found her. She was coming out of one of the bedrooms as we were clearing the house,” McKinney said.
Bunn allegedly told investigators she was unaware of her children’s whereabouts.
“She (Bunn) advised he’d (Owens) left sometime between Aug. 26 and 28, and she’d not seen them since that time,” McKinney said. “Owens had seen the removal order and knew custody had been placed with DFCS, so he took them.”
Although Bunn claimed to have not been in contact with Owens, McKinney said information was obtained indicating the couple had been communicating.
“That’s why she was arrested and charged with obstruction of a law enforcement officer and interference with child custody,” she said.
A third child, a 15-year-old daughter, had been placed in DFCS custody earlier in the summer.
Owens was transported to the Spalding County Jail where he is being held on two counts of kidnapping, two counts of interference with child custody, three counts of cruelty to children in the first degree and additional unrelated warrants.

Owens for web

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