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Baskin Family Seeks Reunification
Friday, 06 February 2009

February 6--  The story of a local educator has made national news.  Mark Baskin, the band director at Montgomery County High School, has gone to California to be seek reunification with his children.

According to Doug Limerick, ABC News, "Their youngs kids were kidnapped by their grandparents 20 years ago.  Now Mark and Debby Baskin are in San Jose, California hoping to be reunited with their grown children.  The grandparents took them from Tennessee to California, assumed a new name and raised the kids.  Police arrested the grandfather earlier this week and he's being returned to Tennessee to face charges."

Bobby and Christie Baskin, who are both now in their 20s, disappeared from Tennessee when they were 8 and 7 years old.  They were raised under the names Jonathan and Jennifer Bunting by their maternal grandparents who assumed the names John and Frances Bunting.  The grandmother reportedly died several years ago. The grandfather, 72-year-old Marvin Maple, is facing extradition back to Tennessee.

Debby Baskin said, "We have never stopped loving them, we have never stopped praying for them."

Mark Baskin came to Montgomery County High School three years ago from Desoto County in Florida.  School Principal Luke Smith, "Mark Smith is a very good person as well as a band director.  He's well respected and thought well of here in our community."

Principal Smith said he didn't learn of Baskin's situation until a week ago.  "It's one of those things that's heart-rendering that it's happened, but it's very joyful that they're reunited and we're certainly very happy for their family," he said. 

Let's hope there's a happy ending here.  Unofficial reports say the children are not ready to see their parents at this time.

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