Authorities in Ohio will not file charges against family YouTubers Myka and James Stauffer after an investigation found their adopted son, Huxley, is safe with a new family.
The Delaware County Sheriff's Office announced Monday it had closed the case against the Stauffers, which it opened after getting numerous requests for a welfare check on their young son. The couple caused an online firestorm last month after announcing on YouTube that they had place Huxley with a new family, citing unspecified behavioral issues.
In a redacted report on the investigation, which BuzzFeed News obtained through a public records request, deputies confirmed they had met with Huxley and his "prospective adoptive parents" on June 9.
According to Deputy Susanna Leonard, Huxley "seemed very active and showed no signs of any abuse from what I could visually see."
"When we walked into the office, [Huxley's] adoptive mother was singing a song to him as he was sitting on her lap smiling," Leonard wrote. "[Huxley] appeared to be very happy and well taken care of."
Leonard wrote that Huxley was able to say the words "momma," "go," and "open" when prompted by her prospective adoptive mother, and also communicated with her through sign language. After conducting a well-being check, the deputies concluded that there were no signs of abuse on Huxley.
"As far as the talk of possible human trafficking against [Huxley], it was determined that the process of his adoption is being conducted legally," Leonard concluded.
Deputies with the sheriff's department also investigated and interviewed the Stauffers on June 4, and performed welfare checks on their other four children.
The Stauffers provided specific details about Huxley's behavior, according to the redacted report by Leonard. Eventually, they said they "couldn’t take care of him anymore" claiming he had "severe aggression towards the other kids." The Stauffers told deputies they had hired a "very expensive" full-time caretaker to ensure their other kids and Huxley were safe.
The Stauffers also claimed, according to the documents, that they felt it was a "was an intolerable situation to continue" and they worried that as Huxley would get older, the situation would continue to deteriorate. They added they had documentation from multiple therapists of his behavior and had filmed it themselves.
Deputies wrote that the Stauffers were asked about allegations of human trafficking, stemming from the fact that the couple used a GoFundMe to help raise money for the adoption. The Stauffers claimed that they raised $800 from the fundraiser, which they used for the initial screening by an adoption agency. They claimed the adoption cost $42,000 total.
The Stauffers also claimed they were receiving death threats and are planning on moving because of concerns about their safety.
After investigating, deputies concluded there were no signs of abuse on any of their other kids.
Leonard wrote that after investigating the new adoption of Huxley, they found that while his foreign adoption had been finalized, his adoption had not been finalized in the US. However, she wrote that finalizing the adoption in the US is optional and not required. Furthermore, she wrote that by all accounts the new adoption of Huxley is being legally facilitated through a private adoption agency.
"At this time the investigation will be closed out with no further follow up from our office," she concluded.
Last week, Myka spoke out about the controversy in her first post on social media since announcing Huxley had a new family. Her husband, James, returned to his YouTube channel, Stauffer Garage, earlier this month without mentioning the scandal.
In the four-page Notes app apology, she said she was "naive" and undertrained when she adopted Huxley and was ultimately unprepared to handle the issues he had.
"I wanted to help so bad I was willing to bring home any child that needed me," she wrote. "For this I was foolish, naive, and arrogant. I wish so bad I was more prepared and done more."