Randy Jordan is as mad as heck, and he isn't going to take it anymore.
“I am going to be an advocate for kids and I will be very outspoken. It might ruffle feathers. But at this point in my career, I have seen too many children hurt. … We can't make this about dollars and cents,” the North Newton police chief told The Kansan. “These kids can not protect themselves.”
Jordan continues to investigate a case against Jim and Paige Nachtigal of North Newton. The couple is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing at 10 a.m. Feb. 25 in Municipal Court on charges of child abuse.
Jordan began to investigate the possibility of physical abuse and starvation of three children in the Nachtigal home. As result, three children adopted from Peru have been removed from the home and Jim and Paige Nachtigal were arrested.
Investigators have alleged physical abuse and malnourishment of two children age 11, and have investigated activities with a 15 year old child as well. All were adopted from Peru. County Attorney David Yoder said two of the children were medically diagnosed as tortured.
“The red flag for me was when I was talking to people and it became apparent that these kids were isolated,” Jordan said. “There is a reason for that. Something is being hidden.”
However, in some ways, the abuses he believes he found were hidden in the open. Jordan said there were multiple calls to the Department of Children and Family Services, but no calls to his department.
Those calls, he said, are difficult to quantify. An open records request by the Kansan asking DCF for the number of calls, and the dates calls were made, about the Nachtigals was denied. DCF also refused a request asking how many investigations were launched as the result of calls about the Nachtigal family. DCF refuses to “comment on individual cases.”
Jordan said there were multiple calls over the course of a year and half.
“It depends on what DCF wants to call a call. If two different people called in on the same thing, it was not necessarily two calls. It is all over the board,” Jordan said.
But there was another organization involved in this case that could have reported abuse — but did not. Jordan said there were supposed to be post-adoption reports.
“There are so many safety nets in this thing that failed,” Jordan said. “… You not only have DCF, but you also have post adoption reports. Those are supposed to be done every six months, and I think that is a safety net for the kids. I do not know how those were done,” Jordan said.
“It does not appear that any information was shared with DCF, it also does not appear that the person doing the post adoption reports called DCF to ask anything or check with them.”
Also not shown in call lists and reports were the biological children, all of whom are now in their 20s.
The North Newton Police Department was able to get some help in this case, coming from the Harvey County Sheriff's Department.
The investigation into abuse began after the 11 year old boy was reported missing Feb. 6. The child was found by a Kansas Highway Patrol officer. According to Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton he child was walking barefoot in a field when he was found. When he was asked about leaving home, the child told investigators he had not done his homework and he had “sinned.” Allegedly, he was afraid to go back home because of the sinning he had done.
He did not admit to any abuse at that time. According to Jordan, the child had run away once previously.
The department took the children into protective custody Feb. 11.
“There are a lot of things that bother me about this. You have politicians that want to act flabbergasted and upset about this,” Jordan said. “They are the ones that gutted DCF how many times now, and they restructured DCF. They have just as much culpability now as DCF. Those of us that work in this system saw this coming. You can't keep cutting funds, adding more responsibility to them.”