One Girl and Seven Boys Named 'Nephra Payne' Abducted from Foster Care

An odd alert went out over New York City's "Notify NYC" system on Tuesday evening: "The NY State Dep of Criminal Justice Services has issued a Missing Child Alert for 8 children, all named Nephra Payne ages 11 months to 11 years." Eight kids with the same name? Surely that's some kind of mistake?

As it turns out, yes: Only seven of the abducted kids are named Nephra Payne (each has his own middle name). The eighth—the youngest, and the only girl—is named Nefertiti. All eight are the children of Shanel Nadal, 28, and Nephra Payne, 34, but are currently living in foster care; Nadal is believed to have snuck them out during an authorized visit today. No one seems to know why the kids were in foster care, and the parents are ciphers to their neighbors:

Several people who live in their building said they had never heard of or seen the couple, and only one of three residents who recognized the couple in photographs remembered having seen them with children, but not anytime recently.

The children were identified by the police as Nephra Payne, 11; Nephra Ceo Payne, 10; Nephra Shalee Payne, 6; Nephra Umeek Payne, 5; Nephra Yahmen Payne, 4; Nephra John Payne, 9; and Nephra Rahsul Payne, 6. The girl, Nefertiti Payne, is 11 months old.

Nadal is thought to be with her children in a black 1996 Chevrolet Suburban, license plate #EXZ5896.

[NYDN, NYT]