Founder of Christian Boarding School Charged with Kidnapping

( – The couple behind a “Christian” boarding school for troubled boys have been charged with first-degree kidnapping without bond. Carmen Grizel Musgraves, 64, and her husband, Charles Musgraves Jr., 57, were both arrested on March 1 after police investigated multiple complaints from former students, including some who had run away from the facility.

ABM Ministries Lighthouse Christian Academy has a fabulous ring to it, but darker undertones reveal a culture of fear and terrorism. The Musgraves reportedly told the young boys that despite their abuse, authorities are friendly with the school and wouldn’t believe their complaints.

Police with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department in Missouri interviewed “all the children” they found at the school last week. They had already interviewed others who had either left the school or escaped and been reunited with their families.

Children reported intimidation from staff, including claims authorities would not aid them should they seek help. They also reported forced exercise, and being hit for slowness in doing chores according to NBC.

The school reportedly was a home for difficult boys aged 10 and up and is situated on over 250 acres. The school is located in a remote area south of Piedmont.

Authorities had been investigating complaints from January after multiple students escaped the facility and reported abuse. Their stories were conveyed by The Kansas City Star. Those boys fled through rough terrain in freezing temperatures and asked a young woman to call 911 when they finally were able to find someone to help them on the roadside.

The situation was so infuriating for local Missourians that they demanded an investigation. Courtney Hall is a local resident who lives just two miles away from the school; she said that the boys “don’t have a voice.” She further suggested that only a handful of locals understood that there was ongoing abuse.

Police were able to use interviews with former students, as well as those who escaped to arrange the charges. The specifics are still unavailable, and given the arrests, the status of the school’s ability to continue to operate is now in question.

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