When a stranger claiming to be a Department of Child Services worker knocked on a young mom’s door and ordered her to hand over her children, she had a gut feeling something was wrong. To her horror, she’d learn her instincts were right when she called the department to ask about the situation. That’s when she discovered the truth about the stranger who came to take her kids.
April Faulkner of Greenfield, Indiana, received a knock at her door that no parent wants to receive. When the busy mother-of-two opened the door of her home, the woman standing on the other side introduced herself as “Miranda.” The stranger then told April she was with Indiana’s Child Protective Services (CPS), also called the Department of Child Services (DCS), and she said she was there with a court order to collect April’s two children.
April noticed something was missing, however, and it left her with a gut feeling that everything about the situation was wrong. When the woman arrived at the home, claiming she was there to take April’s children, she was alone and she didn’t show any official identification to prove she was with DCS. This made the mom suspicious. Her “mother’s intuition” would turn out to be right.
“I told her, ‘You don’t have a police officer. You’re not taking my children,'” April recalled. She said she and the woman “exchanged a few words” before the angered and frightened mom slammed the door in the woman’s face. “She stood here for about five minutes and then she just left,” April added, according to Fox 59. Troubled by the encounter, April called DCS to let them know what had happened.
April was told there was no employee named “Miranda” with the department and there wasn’t an active case against the mother-of-two, according to WTHR. The woman was clearly impersonating a DCS worker, and the mom was told to call the police. Once notified, the Greenfield Police began actively looking for the alleged impostor, who was described as a female about 5’5,” driving a white sports car.
“She was dressed to the T, very professional in a suit jacket and her hair was in a ponytail,” April recalled, adding that the woman had piercing green eyes. “Her eyes were almost the thing that set me off and I just knew there was something not right about her.”
The incident stunned neighbors who describe the residential community as safe and quiet. “I’m always cautious when opening my door, but it is usually men I am more cautious of. I don’t think I would have been as cautious if a woman had been knocking on my door, but I will be from now on,” neighbor Christina Coe said.
“In my 25-year career, I have not heard of a case similar to this,” Deputy Chief Derek Towle admitted. While it may be a first for him, the incident should still serve as a warning since it might not be the last. Luckily, parents can protect themselves and their children by simply knowing a few key points.
“DCS employees will have an identification on them to identify them as a state employee, they will also, as part of [the] protocol, have with them a police officer,” Towle explained, adding that police “don’t want to see anybody taken away from their families.”
Neighbor Alan Davis had a different idea about how parents can ensure their kids are safe, saying the fake DCS worker should think twice before knocking on his door. “I’m normally carrying, so I don’t think that’s a very good idea,” Davis said, referring to any impostors who might try to take his children.
“Where would my kids be if I had given her my kids and I wasn’t a strong-willed person?” April asked rhetorically. It’s a frightening thought, to be sure. And, while this was a first for Deputy Chief Towle, it wasn’t a first for the state of Indiana. Months prior to the incident at April’s home, two women demanded that a mother turn over her children in Franklin.
The woman, carrying child car seats and claiming to be DCS workers, entered Amanda Walker’s apartment, RTV6 reported. Much like the case involving April Faulkner, they claimed they had a court order to take Amanda’s two children, but they didn’t have ID badges, so the mother refused.
As for April, she’s plagued by the “what ifs,” especially since her four-year-old son Karson can’t walk and has medical issues. “He is on oxygen at night and has sleep apnea, so what if I had given her my kids — he would have died,” the shaken mother said. “I’m just afraid to even think of what she would have done to them.” Thankfully, April doesn’t have to worry about that since she knew what to look for, proving that knowledge can be power. So, don’t forget to warn the ones you love.