Was Her Son Kidnapped and Put in a Cult?

February 10, 2014

Minny says that in November 2012, her then 17-year-old son, Andrue, shot himself — and while hospitalized, she claims his biological father, David, kidnapped him and put him in what she calls a Mormon "cult." Emotions run high when the parents come face to face on Dr. Phil’s stage — how does David answer to the accusations? Plus, Andrue confronts his mother to tell his side of the story. Where does he want to live?







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MinnyAndrueDavid, Andrue's fatherLon, Minny's husband

Minny's Claims

Minny says that she met her son, Andrue's, father, David, in college and had a "three-night stand" with him. "Being Andrue's mother was stressful," she says. "He saw his first psychiatrist when he was 5 1/2, and they said it sounded like hyperactivity disorder or bipolar disorder. Another doctor said he had obsessive compulsive disorder. He had oppositional defiant disorder, pervasive developmental disorder. He had multiple issues."

When Andrue was 6, Minny says she finally reached out to David, but he only saw their son three times between ages 6 and 17. "After 2004, David never called, never emailed, never made any attempt to see Andrue," she claims. Minny insists that her husband, Lon, was the real father figure and was always there for Andrue — including the night when he took one of the family guns and shot himself in the chest. "I instantly knew what had happened," Minny says. "I immediately ran to get Lon. Andrue was in a lot of pain. It was hard to watch."

Minny says she sent David an email to let him know what happened, and he came to see Andrue right away. "David or his wife called Child Protective Services, and they devised a plan for David to take Andrue from the hospital without my permission," Minny says. She says that after Andrue had been with David for two weeks, she asked him to send their son back — but claims that David refused. Minny says she believes his motive in taking Andrue was to "claim his male heir" for his Mormon faith. "I'm pretty sure that from the beginning, Andrue has had Stockholm syndrome," she says. "He empathizes only with David, his wife and their family. They have given him everything to make him happy — to entice him to stay." She adds, "Andrue is very susceptible to brainwashing techniques because of his mental illnesses."

Minny says she is now suing the county of Humboldt, CA, the hospital, several social workers and David and his wife. "What they did was wrong. It was a crime," she insists. "David will go to jail."

Dr. Phil reviews Andrue's many diagnoses, according to Minny. And, Lon recalls the tragic night when Andrue shot himself.


"I had no idea that the plan all along was for David to never bring him back."

David's Response

"I saw Andrue three times between the ages of about 6 to about 17," David says. "Over the years, Minny contacted me three times to take Andrue to raise him," he claims. David says that his interactions with Minny were frequently hostile, so he decided to back off and wait until Andrue was 18 to pursue a relationship with him. He says that after Andrue's suicide attempt, Minny and Lon actually wanted him to take Andrue. "I did not kidnap my son," he insists. "The plan was he was going to live with me."

David says that Andrue is a "great kid with a bright future," and he doesn't believe that he has any mental problems. He says Minny is "obsessed" with getting Andrue back — and claims that she has harassed and even threatened him and his family. "She’s threatened to run me over with a truck, to shoot me at point-blank range, to climb through the windows of our house and suffocate me and my family," David claims. "We are not brainwashing Andrue," he insists. "I want Minny to not terrorize me and my family anymore. I want Minny to let Andrue move on in life."

How does Minny explain the positive emails she sent to David and his wife?

"She told us that you wanted him because you don't have a son, and you need an heir to the Mormon throne," Dr. Phil says to David. "She also said you were a 'West Virginia yokel' and an idiot." He turns to Minny and asks, "If he's an idiot, don't you think the Mormons could find a better heir to the throne?"

"I mean his family," Minny says. "He has three daughters and no son ... until he kidnapped mine," she claims.

Andrue Speaks Out

Andrue says he never felt like a normal child growing up, because his mother always told him he had severe mental problems. “She used to take me to doctors all the time, and they’d tell her I was normal, but she wouldn’t believe them," he says. "She even told the schools I was autistic, and they put me in special ed programs."

He claims that his life changed for the worse when he was 7 and his mother married Lon. "Lon physically and mentally abused me every day of my life for 10 years," Andrue claims. "He beat me with his fists, spatulas. He used to shove food down my throat — foods I didn’t like. One time, I didn’t get my room clean, and he made me live in a tent for four months." Andrue also claims that Lon would give him alcohol and marijuana in exchange for working for him. "He told me that I was his slave, and he owned me," Andrue says, adding that he only attended school sporadically. "My mom knew everything, and she never did anything to stop it," he alleges.

“My life now is very different,” Andrue says. “I have a girlfriend. I have a car. I graduated high school. I have a full-time job ... Now I can live a normal life.” He continues, "I honestly want my mom to go away. I want her to stop suing the family I'm living with. She needs to realize that I'm gone and not coming back."

Minny accuses David of filling Andrue's head with lies about her and Lon.

Andrue confronts Lon, who denies that any abuse ever took place. "Andrue, that's fabricated," he insists.

"I had to work for meals," Andrue claims. "I came in and cleaned the house, and at night they would kick me out to my tent. This happened from August until I shot myself, which was November." He continues, "You would give me privileges and then take them away over stupid things — like I couldn't load the dishwasher right. You guys would beat me for it," Andrue claims.

"Nobody beat you," Minny replies. "We grounded you a lot, but nobody beat you."

"Tell them about your shirts, Lon," Andrue says. "What happened when I couldn't fix the collars right — when I couldn't hang them up? You beat me with the hangers. You broke them on me."

"No, Andrue," Lon says. "It was that you couldn't do the laundry, and you were ruining our clothes, so we asked you to stop doing laundry. Period. That's it."  He adds, "That boy has never been beaten, Dr. Phil. You don't beat a kid because he can't process like we do."

"One of the things that bothers me is: You heard a gunshot from your son's room, but you never went in the room?"

"I was not the perfect mother, and I should have been there more for you," Minny says to Andrue. "I didn’t realize what you were going through with your friends," she continues. "That's really why he shot himself. It wasn't because he was living under 'hell' conditions."

"Would you like to know why he says he shot himself?" Dr. Phil asks.

Andrue opens up about his suicide attempt -- and makes a plea to Minny for peace. Will she hear him? Don't miss Part 2!