NEWPORT - The Department of Social Services visited the home of a father whose 12-year-old daughter was taken from North Carolina to Florida by a convicted sex offender, according to authorities.
Abigaile Lefevers was supposed to reunite with her father this past weekend, but Robert Lefevers said that meeting was postponed until later this week, possibly Wednesday. Robert Lefevers said he still hasn't had contact of any kind with his daughter, but has been the subject of a DSS home study as ordered by a judge in the case.
"They've yet to let me have a five-minute conversation with her on the phone. That's even harder for me," Lefevers said.
Abigaile was found by police in Florida on Wednesday with convicted sex offender Timothy Newman, 38, who admitted to FBI agents he had a physical past with the girl dating back two months.
Since Newman's arrest, Robert Lefevers has been waiting to be reunited with his daughter.
"I just want her to know that I love her, and we're going to work through this," said Robert Lefevers, who also has four other children.
Abigaile remains in protective custody in Florida. The Department of Social Services on Sunday visited with her father, who says authorities had already reached out to his ex-wives. Abigale's mother died about one year ago. Robert Lefevers indicated that the postponement in the reunion was likely to make time for the DSS investigation.
"I feel like they're just giving me excuses just to let the Department of Social Services do their investigation on me," he said. "I have nothing to hide from Department of Social Services, but at the same point, I feel like I shouldn't be the one under the microscope."
David Atkinson, the director of Carteret Social Services, says with all of the publicity surrounding her abduction, Abigaile will need a lot of support when she returns.
"It's going to be very important that folks just understand that this girl needs to re-establish normalcy," said Atkinson.
Those close to the case said one of the main issues Abigaile will be faced with when she returns are the questions and concerns. It's something that school officials and her father said they are already preparing for before Abigaile comes home.
"The bottom line - a therapeutic environment needs to be established and explored," said Atkinson.
Timothy Newman is expected to be extradited to North Carolina to face charges. No word yet if he will face charges in South Carolina or Florida, the two other states authorities said Newman and Lefevers drove through on their way to Florida.