Missing Mass. boys were cremated and their ashes believed to be in Maine


Foster's Daily Democrat (Maine), April 13, 2000

BOSTON (AP) - Members of an Attleboro religious sect cremated the bodies of two boys who have been missing since last year, a source told the Boston Herald.

The newspaper said the source is a woman who is expected to testify against sect members before a Bristol County grand jury.

Investigators have been looking since last year for 10-month-old Samuel Robidoux and his infant cousin, Jeremiah Corneau.

The children's parents belong to a strict Christian sect that rejects conventional medicine and schools. A journal authored by a sect member said that Jeremiah was stillborn, and that Samuel died early last spring after being denied food for weeks, officials have said.

Prosecutors have said they believe both children were buried. They have searched areas of Attleboro, Seekonk, Pawtucket, R.I., and Baxter State Park in Maine.

The woman told the Herald that sect members burned the boys' bodies and buried the ashes in Baxter State Park.

The grand jury was scheduled to start hearing testimony today in Fall River Superior Court.

Jacques Robidoux, Samuel's father and the leader of the sect, appeared in Attleboro Juvenile Court Wednesday for a custody hearing. For the sixth time, he declined to tell Judge Kenneth Nasif where his son is.

Jacques Robidoux has been in custody since Nov. 10, when he first refused to answer Nasif's questions about Samuel's whereabouts. Last fall, his wife, Karen Robidoux, invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when asked about her son.

Also at Wednesday's custody hearing were the fathers of Karen Robidoux's two oldest children. The Department of Social Services is trying to place those children, now in foster care, with their fathers.


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