Bethlehem, Judea Authorities were today alerted by a concerned citizen who noticed a family living in a barn. Upon arrival, Family Protective Service personnel, accompanied by police, took into protective care an infant child, who had been wrapped in strips of cloth and placed in a feeding trough by his 14-year old mother, Mary of Nazareth.
During the confrontation, a man identified as Joseph, also of Nazareth, attempted to stop the social workers. Joseph, aided by several local shepherds and some unidentified foreigners, tried to forestall efforts to take the child, but were restrained by the police.
Also being held for questioning are three foreigners who allege to be wise men from an eastern country. The INS and Homeland Security officials are seeking information about these wise guys who may be in the country illegally. A source with the INS states that they had no passports, but were in possession of gold and other possibly illegal substances. They resisted arrest saying that they had been warned by God to avoid officials in Jerusalem and to return quickly to their own country. The chemical substances in their possession will be tested.
The owner of the barn is also being held for questioning. The manager of Bethlehem Inn faces possible revocation of his license for violating health and safety regulations by allowing people to stay in the stable.Civil authorities are also investigating the zoning violations involved in maintaining livestock in a commercially-zoned district.
The location of the minor child will not be released, and the prospect for a quick resolution to this case is doubtful. Asked about when the child would be returned to his mother, a Child Protective Service spokesperson said, "The father is middle-aged and the mother definitely underage. We are checking with officials in Nazareth to determine what their legal relationship is."
Joseph has admitted taking Mary from her home in Nazareth because of a census requirement. However, because she was obviously pregnant when they left, investigators are looking into other reasons for their departure. Joseph is being held without bond on charges of molestation, kidnapping, child endangerment, and statutory rape.
Mary was taken to the Bethlehem General Hospital where she is being examined by doctors. Charges may also be filed against her for endangerment. She will also undergo psychiatric evaluation because of her claim that she is a virgin and that the child is from God.
"I don't profess to have the right to tell people what to believe, but when their beliefs adversely affect the safety and well-being of others in this case her child we must consider her a danger to others. The unidentified drugs at the scene didn't help her case, but I'm confidant that with the proper therapy regimen we can get her back on her feet."
"Who knows what was going through their heads? But regardless, their treatment of the child was inexcusable, and the involvement of these others frightening. There is much we don't know about this case, but for the sake of the child and the public, you can be assured that we will pursue this matter to the end."
February 17, 2006 This morning the Equal Justice Foundation received the following update on the case where a child was found in a barn last December after an anonymous call to Child Protective Services by a "concerned citizen."
Joseph has been placed on the sex abuse registry after his substandard attorney stipulated improperly with the prosecutors. Apparently the legal fee Joseph paid was too low and the attorney decided not to proceed with trial of any kind. Instead he sold Joseph down the river.
On a more unfortunate note, the child whom locals refer to as "Jesus" died. He was placed in a foster home under the auspices of Child Protective Services funded by the federal government. The child was found dead in a crib.
Apparently his foster parents were not properly investigated and the alcoholic foster mother forgot she put the boy in the crib last week. Another foster child in her care found a cell phone nearby and called 911.