Father of missing endangered children speaks

A child custody battle has resulted in the arrest of a mother.

Father, Bryson Burley and mother, Ocean Manning have been locked in a four-year long child custody battle. On April 4th, Burley filed a missing child report for five-year old Honor and four-year old Hayden in Youngsville. A week later, Louisiana State Police issued an arrest warrant for Manning for charges including cruelty to juveniles, abuse of children, false reporting and criminal mischief.
The children’s father received word they were close to finding Manning, 11 days after the siblings were reported missing and was told to start heading to Oklahoma.
“I was an hour and half away from Dallas when they said they found them and were taking Ocean into custody,” said Burley.
Manning was located later in Claremore, Oklahoma on April 15th and subsequently arrested by the Roger County’s Police Department. Later Wednesday afternoon, she was released on bond and a promise that she would return to Louisiana and turn herself over to authorities.
The children were believed to be endangered because of Manning’s behavior throughout the custody battle.
“They felt like the children were in an endangered state. Child cruelty, from having to go through all these sexual assault examinations which can be quite evasive,” said Youngsville Chief of Police, Rickey Boudreaux.

Manning made several accusation against Burley for sexual abuse of Honor and Hayden. Investigations were conducted by the Louisiana State Police, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Child Protective Services.

Boudreaux said, “Each time it was investigated, those were found to be unsubstantiated complaints.  In fact, there was a court order in place that she was not allowed to do this again in Oklahoma and there is now one in place that she is not allowed to do this in Louisiana.”

Manning, however, violated the court order and made another sexual assault complaint against Burley. The Attorney General’s Office of Oklahoma has decided to investigate the new claim.

The children, meanwhile, were placed in protective custody in Oklahoma, pending a temporary custody hearing scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Burley remains in Texas awaiting word of the hearing.

“Part of the reason I haven’t gone crazy is my step-son Carson. What kind of example would I set if I just give up on the people that I love?” he said.

The Youngsville Police Department have not heard from Manning, but say she has 24-48 hours to turn herself in, or she will once again be considered a fugitive.

The Roger Claremore Sheriff’s Department could not be reached for comment on Manning’s whereabouts.


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