The father of three children who have names associated with Nazis on Saturday accused the state Division of Youth and Family Services of taking his children under false pretenses and said one of the children appeared neglected when he saw them last week.
In a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Saturday, Heath Campbell said he and wife Deborah have been allowed to see their children once since state child welfare workers removed them from the family's home on Jan. 9.
Campbell said his 2-year-old daughter, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, appeared sick and had a runny nose and dirty diaper when he and his wife visited the children last Monday under the supervision of state Division of Youth and Family Services personnel.
DYFS has not said why JoyceLynn and siblings Adolf Hitler Campbell, 3, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, who will be 1 in April, were removed. Kate Bernyk, a DYFS spokeswoman, said Saturday that confidentiality laws prevent the agency from commenting on specific cases.
Campbell said the agency told him the children were taken because they were in “imminent danger,'' but he believes the removal was spurred by publicity surrounding the children's names.
“In three years they've never been involved with us,'' he said, referring to DYFS. “They said it's not about the newspaper articles, but they took them because of their name. I don't care what anybody says.''
Campbell also said the state is relying on unproven accusations made by a neighbor and by an ex-wife who charged him with abusing her years ago.
Bernyk didn't respond to Campbell's accusations, but she said fewer than 20 percent of the 48,000 children currently under DYFS supervision have been removed from their homes. She also said that historically, 80 percent of those who are removed end up back with their families.
The Campbell family made headlines in December when a ShopRite supermarket in Greenwich, near the family's home in Holland Township in west-central New Jersey, refused to decorate a birthday cake with their son's name.
A Wal-Mart in Pennsylvania wound up decorating the cake, but the resulting publicity put the family under media scrutiny. Heath Campbell said he and his wife are staying with relatives because neighbors and others are harassing them.
Police in Holland Township are investigating a mailed death threat that was received by a woman whose last name is Campbell but is not related the couple.
A hearing in Hunterdon County family court was postponed earlier this month because the Campbells were unable to retain a lawyer, and Heath Campbell said Saturday they still have not done so.