Arkansas Authorities Still Actively Investigating Duggars, Probe Could Last Through July

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad summer doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon. InTouch Weekly, the magazine that put America’s favorite babymakers’ reputation on life support earlier this spring, recently learned that state officials in Arkansas are actively investigating concerns about the welfare of one of Jim Bob and Michelle’s remaining minor children.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar

You may recall that on May 27, a Washington County Department of Human Services worker came to the Duggars’ home in Tonitown to check on one of the Duggar kids. When Jim Bob and Michelle refused to let the worker in, he was forced to call 911. According to InTouch, Washington County sheriff’s deputies and Toonitown police remained on the scene for about 15 minutes before giving the all-clear.

When InTouch tried to obtain the dispatch logs via a Freedom of Information Act request, it inadvertently discovered that this investigation isn’t going away any time soon. While the Washington County sheriff’s department readily provided its full log, Tonitown police only provided a redacted log stating that “this is a current active investigation.”

Confirmation from the Toonitown PD that it is still actively investigating the Duggars
Confirmation from the Toonitown PD that it is still actively investigating the Duggars

According to this week’s print edition, the Duggars may not be able to breathe easy for a good portion of this summer. In Arkansas, once DHS starts investigating a case of suspected child abuse, it takes a minimum of 45 days to complete. According to Jennifer Long, executive director of the Arkansas Children’s Protection Center, it will take at least that long to get in touch with “all people relevant to the investigation.”

Assuming that the clock for this renewed probe started on May 27, it could last well into July–and that’s even if DHS finds no evidence of wrongdoing. But think about it, folks. You have a family that is not only very connected politically, but has a lot of sympathy in the Christian conservative world. Given those circumstances, wouldn’t you think that DHS would take great care in investigating them? I would think so. If DHS and law enforcement are still investigating at all at this point, it can only mean that there is definitely something worth looking into.

Unless I’m very wrong, that may make it very difficult–to say the least–to begin shooting another season of “19 Kids & Counting.” Granted, TLC already had enough reasons to take that show off the air. Not only is it clear that the Duggars lied to TLC about the actions of their eldest son, Josh, but they waited 16 months to report Josh to police even though they knew he’d committed a crime. And now the Duggars are the subject of a child abuse investigation that, in the best case scenario, could last through a good chunk of the summer. In a sane world, TLC would cut its losses and pull the plug on this show.

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Written by Darrell Lucus

Darrell is a 30-something graduate of the University of North Carolina who considers himself a journalist of the old school. An attempt to turn him into a member of the religious right in college only succeeded in turning him into the religious right's worst nightmare--a charismatic Christian who is an unapologetic liberal. His desire to stand up for those who have been scared into silence only increased when he survived an abusive three-year marriage. You may know him on Daily Kos as Christian Dem in NC. Follow him on Twitter @DarrellLucus or connect with him on Facebook. Click here to buy Darrell a Mello Yello.