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Couple faces charges in the duct-taping of two foster children



Published: Mon, April 21, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The kids say they were taped up to be kept quiet.

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) -- Middletown Township police are reviewing 30 photographs taken of two foster children who police say were bound by duct tape.

Police also confiscated the children's pajamas, which officials say still have tape adhesive on them.

Colleen Broe, 34, and her husband, Neil Broe, 41, were charged Wednesday with endangering their 5-year-old son and their two foster children, a 1-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy.

"We have many smoking guns in this case," said Detective Dan Baranoski.

Police say that Colleen Broe's children -- the 5-year-old and two children ages 10 and 11 -- have told officials their mother taped the younger children to keep them quiet.

Officials say that Colleen Broe wrapped the children in tape and that Neil Broe took the pictures and didn't contact authorities.

What photos show

Investigators say some of the 30 photos show the children dressed in sleepers and lying side by side, wrapped at least six times with duct tape around their chest and legs.

In another photo, a child's bare legs are dangling through the rails, but the child's ankles are bound with packing tape. Duct tape is strapped around the child's diaper.

Baranoski said police found shreds of duct tape around the 1-year-old's stomach when she was removed from the house Wednesday. The tape was removed at a hospital, he said.

Records show that Neil Broe had a protection-from-abuse order filed against him in 1996 that wasn't discovered in a background check performed before he could become a foster parent.

Criminal background checks rely on information reported to the state police, and that information typically concerns convictions, state police spokesman Jack Lewis said.

Both state and county agencies approved the Broes as foster parents in January 2001. Children were placed with them the next month.

They have parented five foster children the past two years.

In 2002, the county recognized the couple as model foster parents.




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