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YouTuber Myka Stauffer will not face charges after investigation into adopted son's welfare

Authorities investigated the well-being of her adopted son, whom she and her husband controversially placed with a new family.
/ Source: TODAY

Authorities in Ohio will not be filing charges against YouTube stars Myka and James Stauffer after an investigation into the well-being of their adopted son with his new family.

The Delaware County Sheriff's Office announced Monday that it had completed its investigation, which began early last month after authorities received multiple requests to check on the welfare of the Stauffers' son Huxley.

Myka Stauffer holds Huxley in a 2017 YouTube video.
Myka Stauffer holds Huxley in a 2017 YouTube video.Myka Stauffer via YouTube

The couple faced a backlash in May after they announced they were permanently placing Huxley with another family after the Stauffers had adopted Huxley from China in 2017 when he was 2 1/2.

In explaining their reason for placing Huxley with a new family, they said they were not aware of the full extent of his special needs when they adopted him. Huxley was diagnosed with a stroke in utero, has level 3 autism and sensory processing disorder, according to Myka Stauffer.

A redacted report of the investigation into his well-being was obtained by NBC News through a public records request. The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to NBC News that the report is connected to Myka and James Stauffer and the investigation into their adopted son's welfare.

The report states that Detective Susanna Leonard met with Huxley and his prospective adoptive parent on June 9 and observed him sitting on her lap and smiling as she sang a song to him. Leonard noted that Huxley "appeared to be very happy and well taken care of."

Leonard also observed Huxley say a handful of words and communicate in sign language. She looked him over for any indications of physical abuse and said in the report that he "seemed very active and showed no signs of any abuse from what I could visually see."

The Stauffers had also faced accusations of human trafficking because they used a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay for Huxley's adoption from China, according to the report. The couple told Leonard in an interview on June 4 that they earned a total of $800 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.

The Stauffers, who are raising four other children, told Leonard in their interview that Huxley had "severe aggression towards the other kids" and that they had to hire someone to watch him and keep their other children safe, "which is very expensive." They said Huxley was "physically attacking" their other children and that it was "an intolerable situation to continue."

They added that they had private therapists coming into their home for seven hours a day for seven months and that in the last two months the therapists told the couple there was "nothing else they could do to help" because "they could not control the behaviors."

The Stauffers said one of their young sons "will be in therapy for a long time" and that when Huxley went to his new home their daughter said, "I’m so happy I don’t have to get punched in the head anymore," according to the report.

Leonard added that the family is following the formal adoption process, which is private in Ohio. An adoption investigator will conduct background checks on both sets of parents and a home study on Huxley's new adoptive parents. The adoption report is not public record.

Myka Stauffer broke her silence about Huxley on June 24 in a lengthy Instagram post in which she apologized for the "confusion and pain" she has caused and wrote that she was trying her best "to navigate the hardest thing I have ever been through."

Stauffer told Leonard in the interview last month that the family received death threats after Huxley was placed with another family.

"I wanted to help so bad I was willing to bring home any child that needed me. For this I was naïve, foolish, and arrogant,'' she wrote on Instagram. "I wish so bad I would have been more prepared and done more. I wish the decision to disrupt never had to be made."

CLARIFICATION (July 1, 2020, 6:23 p.m.): A previous version of this article stated the Stauffers placed their adopted son with a new family in May. The couple made the announcement in May.