Wartena children returned to family amid injury accusation

Wartena children returned to family amid injury accusation

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The four children removed from their parents after their oldest sibling drowned last week have been returned to the Wartena family, according to attorney Jesse Quackenbush.

Quackenbush said the children were released from Child Protective Services Monday afternoon after one of them was injured while in foster care.

The children were temporarily removed from Michael Wartena and Michael Tiffany Stewart's custody after their oldest daughter, 7-year-old Alexis Wartena, disappeared from the family's motel room and drowned at a playa lake nearby.

The injured child reportedly had markings around his neck and bruising along his spine.

The Wartena family said they plan on returning home Tuesday morning.

The Californian family was staying at La Kiva Motel during their road trip back home. The family told police Alexis escaped their motel room without detection last Tuesday afternoon.

Police searched the area near the motel throughout the evening in search of Alexis, who was found Wednesday morning in the T Anchor lake just north of the location.

Quackenbush, who demanded an internal investigation of the Amarillo Police Department last week, is representing the Wartena family in their confrontation with the city of Amarillo after Michael Wartena said police "repeatedly tortured emotionally" Stewart during the investigation.

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