Maryland 'free range kids' taken into custody again by child protective services

Two Maryland children who received national attention as so-called "free range kids" earlier this year because of their parents' decision to let them roam alone were taken into custody again Sunday by Child Protective Services.

Danielle and Alexander Meitiv's children, ages 6 and 10, were picked up by police on Sunday at around 5 p.m., and taken to Montgomery County Child Protective Services. A neighbor apparently saw the children walking alone and called 911 to report it. WTTG reported the children were walking about a third of a mile from home at the time.

Danielle Meitiv said she had told her kids to be home by 6:30 p.m., and when they didn't arrive, she and her husband became frantic and started driving around looking for them.

The Meitivs say CPS didn't call them to let them know they had the kids until about 8 p.m. The Meitivs drove to CPS to pick up their kids, but say they were told to "take a seat" and initially weren't given any information about their children, except that they were there.

Just after 10:30 p.m., the Meitivs were reunited with their kids. They had to sign a temporary safety plan to take them home, which means they are not allowed to leave the children unattended at all.

The Meitivs' 10-year-old son told reporters they sat in the police car for about two hours before they were told they would be dropped off at home, but instead, they went to CPS in Rockville.

The Meitivs made national news in January, when the parents were investigated for letting their children roam freely though their town without parental supervision.

Then, in March, Child Protective Services found the parents were guilty of "unsubstantiated" child neglect. The children remained in their parents' custody, but CPS will keep a file on the family for five years as part of the verdict. The Meitivs had vowed to appeal that decision.

Police say after a thorough investigation, a decision about whether or not the Meitivs will face charges will be made.

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