Can you help find these 5 fathers?
By Lee Williams
Published in News on February 1, 2007 1:48 PM
One person has been captured, but officials with Wayne County Child Support Enforcement Agency are asking the public to help find five other parents who owe their children nearly $215,000.
Tarrian Damon Gaines, 37, who owes more than $55,385 in back child support, was detained, officials said.
But Claude Jarvis Brehon Jr., 29; who owes $16,223.80; Edward Earl Davis Jr., 31, who owes $20,084; Erskine Erwin Kleinert III, 38, who owes $5,172.24; Franklin Roosevelt Pride, 41, who owes $89,457.24; and Ernest Woodley Triplett Jr., 33, who owes $28,496.28, are still at-large, Wayne County Child Support Agent Diana Beason said.
Edward Earl Davis Jr.
Erskine Kleinert III
All six men are featured on the Wayne County Child Support Enforcement Agency's "most wanted" list. Four men featured on the list released this month appeared on a "most wanted" poster in October, but now that Gaines has been caught, officials will focus on the remaining five.
Ms. Beason said many parents who owe child support do comply.
Last year, the agency collected nearly $14 million. In 2005, the agency collected more than $12 million, she said.
But for every parent who meets his or her obligation, Ms. Beason said there are others who don't pay their court-ordered child support payments and tracking down delinquent parents is no easy task. Some employ sly tactics to beat the system, she said.
"Sometimes it's difficult to catch people because the family sometimes cover up for them and say they aren't at home when they are," said Ms. Beason, who has the daunting task of tracking some down by telephone. "And some may work for a trucking company as a contractor and cover up the employer's name on the truck so that we cannot obtain the employer in order to initiate wage garnishment."
Ms. Beason said the agency seizes IRS returns or issues arrest orders for those who refuse to pay. However, the "most wanted" posters have proven to be effective tools in tracking down delinquent parents.
Nine delinquent parents were featured on the poster in October. Five of them were caught. This month, six were featured, and one was caught.
Jennette Pride of Goldsboro knows firsthand how hard it is to take care of a child when one parent does not meet his obligations.
Ms. Pride was married to Franklin Pride, one of the men featured on this month's "most wanted" list. The two were high school sweethearts and married young. When the marriage fell apart after nearly 11 years, her ex-husband's financial support for their four children left with him. That loss made it difficult to take care of their children.
"Child support is there to help with the mortgage, electric, food and other bills and it's felt when it's not there," she said.
Of the $89,457.24 Franklin Pride owes in back child support, about $60,000 is owed to Ms. Pride alone, she said.
Ms. Pride said there were times when Pride did pay child support, but there were times when he could pay and did not.
She said Pride, a construction worker from Wayne County, has moved around a lot -- from Virginia to Jacksonville, N.C., to Whitesville, N.C.
"It's been a time keeping up with his tracks," she said.
Ms. Pride recalls the earlier years when she struggled to raise her boys. She turned to social services for food stamps, but was turned away.
"In the past when my kids were a lot younger, we couldn't qualify for any assistance because I worked full-time and my gross income was $5 over the amount allowed and I did not qualify," Ms. Pride said. "That's the hardship that it creates because if I was receiving the money, I wouldn't have to go up there to apply."
Ms. Pride said it was especially tough at Christmas. Trying to buy presents for four children and taking care of necessities on one salary was a challenge. Occasionally, she had to rely on family, friends, the help of church members and the pastor to soften the burden.
Two of her children are adults. The other two are teens and still minors and could benefit from their father's support. Parents who owe child support should make it their duty to honor their agreement because it's their children who pay the price, she said.
"I feel like if you have kids, you need to support them," Ms. Pride said. "If they can't be here physically, be there financially."
Anyone with information about these delinquent parents' whereabouts, their employment or residence is asked to call Wayne County Child Support Enforcement at 919-731-1543.
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