The endless saga of YouTube influencers Myka and James Stauffer may have finally come to an end. The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the Ohio couple cleared them of abuse and child trafficking allegations regarding their 4-year-old autistic son Huxley while he was in their care.
The couple adopted Huxley from China in 2017, making them parents to five kids. That family life was well documented on the Stauffer’s YouTube channel, which grew to have well above a half-million followers. Huxley was a huge part of that, being included in a playlist of 27 videos that focused on the boy’s “Adoption Journey” as well as the Stauffer’s experiences adopting a child with special needs.
Like with most influencers, the Stauffers were able to monetize those videos, so when updates on Huxley stopped earlier this year, Myka’s followers began questioning the family. That’s when the truth came out: The couple admitted that they were unable to handle Huxley’s needs and had given him up to, what Myka called, his new “forever” home.
Critics pounced on the couple, stating that they had exploited Huxley for profit. They noted that the couple lived in a beautiful new home, drove luxury cars, and took expensive vacations. (The human trafficking allegations also stemmed from the couple using a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay for Huxley’s adoption from China.) And others accused them of knowing what they were getting into and abandoning Huxley when things became too difficult.
Myka Stauffer returned to Instagram at the end of June to address some concerns and issue an apology to her followers. In it, she called herself “naive, foolish, and arrogant” for thinking they could handle Huxley’s needs. But by that point, the statements regarding alleged abuse and child trafficking spurred an investigation into the couple.
According to Mercury News, the Stauffers defended their actions to investigators. They detailed the ways the little boy attacked their four other children, causing trauma to one and posing a long-term threat to the family’s welfare. This detail mirrored a video where Myka alluded to “multiple scary things [that] happened inside the home towards our other children.”
In the end, investigators found no reason to pursue charges against the couple.
Huxley’s New Life
The sheriff’s department report states that Detective Susanna Leonard met with Huxley and his prospective adoptive parent on June 9. Leonard observed the boy sitting on the adult’s lap and smiling as she sang him a song. He could also say a handful of words and communicate in sign language.
Leonard said that Huxley “appeared to be very happy and well taken care of.” She also said in the report that he “seemed very active and showed no signs of any abuse from what I could visually see.”
As for the child trafficking charges, the Stauffers told Leonard they earned a total of $800 from their GoFundMe and the adoption cost them $42,000.
“As far as the talk of possible human trafficking against (redacted), it was determined that the process of his adoption is being conducted legally,” Leonard stated in the report.
Myka Stauffer Child Trafficking — Sources
myka stauffer child trafficking news