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Charles Montaldo

Kidnapped Children Found After 20 Years

By February 6, 2009

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A Tennessee brother and sister who were kidnapped from their home in 1989 have been found alive and well in San Jose, California and their grandfather has been arrested. Christie and Bobby Baskin, who are both now in their 20s and known as Jenny and Jonathan Bunting, were found with their grandfather, Marvin Maple.

Authorities said Maple, 73, took the children 20 years ago because he thought they were being abused by his daughter and son-in-law.

San Jose police arrested Marvin Maple, who was living as John Bunting, after witnesses came forward after seeing a story about the case in a San Diego newspaper. A further investigation turned up witnesses who said Maple talked about being a wanted man.

Police said Maple took his grandchildren from their home on March 1, 1989 when Christie was 8 and Bobby was 7 years old. He and his wife Sandra raised the siblings in California. Sandra Maple died about two years ago.

Christie has a college degree in nursing and works in nursing administration. She is single and still lives with her grandfather. Bobby is married and has children, authorities said.

Christie and Bobby 1989

Jenny and Jonathan 2009

Christie and Bobby's parents now live in Vidalia, Georgia. Their father, Mark Baskin is pastor of Normantown Baptist Church. Tennessee authorities are on the way to California to interview Christie and Bobby and try to arrange a reunion with their parents.

"First, we still love them. We never stopped loving them. We don't blame them for what happened and we want to have a relationship with them," Mark Baskin told reporters. "We don't want to appear to be pushy or bombastic," Baskin said. "We want to lay the fleece out and say this is what we want. The ball is in their court."

"It's like an out-of-body experience," Baskin said. "It's something we've been praying for and thinking about for 20 years having our hopes raised and dashed. Suddenly, it looks like reality. It's just amazing."

See Also:
Grandpa Held in 20-Year-Old Kidnapping
Baskin Children Discovered Alive and Well

What Is Your Opinion?
Discuss The Baskin Case

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Photos: Mug Shot/Family Photos


February 6, 2009 at 11:38 am
(1) t says:

Weird…There is more to this story than is currently being told.

February 6, 2009 at 12:09 pm
(2) yesenia says:

thereis deffinetly more to the story then being told, because after 20years dont you think the children will be older and know about everything. why didnt they say anything… this is a weird story

February 6, 2009 at 1:27 pm
(3) Chuck says:

Just make’s ya wonder how many children, who are thought to be dead, could still be alive.

February 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm
(4) Rob says:

I agree… way more to this sad story.

February 7, 2009 at 5:06 pm
(5) Kelly says:

and they never wondered why they didnt say the grandparents anymore? Even if bad blood cops would’ve looked at them as suspects….something not right

February 8, 2009 at 5:21 am
(6) usanative1 says:

I believe it was adolph hitler who said :Give me a child for seven years and they will be mine for life.Maybe these children and now adults were stockholmed by the grand father.Maybe they just gave up searching based only on what they were told.i am happy that a mother has found her children and the father can go on knowing his family is alive. A new horizon for sides to climb, hopefully a grand reunion will soon be in the making. good luck go with God and go armed.

February 9, 2009 at 12:34 am
(7) anonymous says:

of course they are still alive… that is why they were taken in the first place. why would a mother and father accuse their daughter of abuse? and to pick up everything and risk their lives for their grandchildren? there had to be a good reason for marvin (*or john, as i know him) and his wife to have done that. just some food for thought…

February 9, 2009 at 3:37 am
(8) tngirl says:

The parents were cleared 20 years ago. If there was any truth to the allegations the grandparents would not have had to kidnap the children in the first place because the court would have granted custody. The court took the allegations serious enough to remove the kids temporarily so if there was any truth to those “stories” they would not have been left in thier parents custody. For the person who knew the abducter–people are not always what they seem.

February 11, 2009 at 1:54 am
(9) anonymous says:

yes, the parents were cleared, but it is difficult to prove sexual abuse… now the children are willing to testify on behalf of their grandfather. they say that they remember what happened when they were children… so we’ll see what happens.

February 11, 2009 at 8:04 am
(10) JDV says:

CPS & our lousy court system return children to their abusers EVERY DAY. Often to their deaths. So them saying the parents were found innocent of the charges way back then means absolutely NOTHING. Of course it doesnt mean the grandparents were right either. At least the kids seem to have had a decent upbringing with love which is all that really matters.

February 11, 2009 at 8:44 am
(11) pappe says:

My mother tried to take my daughter when she was 8 days just for the simple fact that she wanted my child. My mother verbal and physically abused me from as far back as I can remember. “She would tell me the only reason why I kept you is because I could not get rid of you.” There wasn’t a day that went by that I wasn’t black and blue before going to school. Child Protection in those days were non existent and now at the drop of a hat they step in whether the allegations are true or not. But who can tell what is true and what isn’t when it concerns a child. I wasn’t doing anything to my child except loving and caring for her. Since my mother had abused me there was no way I would let her get my child. So it isn’t always the parents that are the abusers, the grandparents could be the abusers. We don’t know the whole story and probably never will, but to take a child away from their parents just because thought they were doing something isn’t right. Proof is what is all about but, you can have anyone arrested for almost anything whether they are doing wrong or not.

August 26, 2010 at 10:29 am
(12) MZ.SEXII says:


June 7, 2011 at 6:56 pm
(13) terri says:

Since he was a Pastor I wonder how much of it had to do with Satan trying to keep them from learning about Jesus-familys will do that!!

November 30, 2012 at 11:09 pm
(14) Dee says:

I don’t believe the grandfather did anything wrong, sounds a little strange to me. They were only in CA, somebody not saying something..

January 12, 2013 at 11:09 pm
(15) sarah says:

i feel sorry 4 all the kid and grown ups keep them in prayer

February 28, 2013 at 9:49 am
(16) amber says:

hmmmm confusing tbh

March 20, 2013 at 10:55 am
(17) John says:

My mom tried this mess with my older son. She was going to kidnap him but I foiled it. Sometimes parents become obsessed with their grandchildren and think you are not doing a ‘good job’ of parenting.

These people are controlling, manipulative, and will break your own self-esteem if you let them. After much counseling, I feel so much better about myself.

Both my parents are dead and I’m relieved. It’s sad to have parents like this but a person must move on. My children are grown, have good jobs, and are living well. I’m very happy:)

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