Five children left their isolated home Saturday evening after a five-day stalemate with sheriff's deputies. The children were seen riding past sheriff's barricades in a large sport-utility vehicle at about 6 p.m. Saturday.
The children will be placed in state custody, at least temporarily. Three people have offered to adopt the five children, who range in age from 16 to 8, and their 15-year old brother, who left the house late Thursday.
The children, who were armed with guns, had been speaking to negotiators most of the day Saturday, according to Sheriff's Sgt. Rob Rahn. He identified them only as family members and close friends of the children.
The standoff began Tuesday after the mother, JoAnn McGuckin, was arrested on charges of child neglect at the filthy, decrepit house. Michael McGuckin, the family's father, was diagnosed several years ago with multiple sclerosis. His May 12 death was attributed by the Bonner County coroner to malnutrition and dehydration.
Sheriff's deputies later returned to the home near Garfield Bay, Idaho, about 10 miles south of Sandpoint, to take the six children into state custody. The children unleashed dogs on the deputies.
Late Thursday, the oldest boy, Benjamin McGuckin, 15, was taken into custody after he sought help from a neighbor, who drove him to meet with authorities in Sandpoint. Robinson said the boy confirmed there were five guns in the house. He was then placed in temporary "shelter care" provided by the state Department of Health and Welfare.
His brothers and sisters — Kathryn, 16; Mary, 13; James, 11; Frederick, 9; and Jane, 8 — remained at the house until the stalemate's end.
The oldest sister Erina, 19, who left the house after an earlier falling-out with her parents, had been working with authorities. Her concerns formed the basis of the neglect charge against JoAnn McGuckin, who was held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
By all accounts, the family had been relatively prosperous until their sawmill business went bankrupt in the 1980s. The family has rejected offers of help.
The home was sold at auction last year to cover unpaid back taxes, but the McGuckins stayed on under arrangements that remain unclear, officials said.
JoAnn McGuckin refused to seek state aid as she grew increasingly paranoid about the government, local relief workers say. Her husband's body could not be buried for two weeks because she would not complete the county's indigent forms, The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Wash., reported Saturday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.