Lev Tahor heading back to Canada, say reports

A member of the ultra-orthodox Lev Tahor sect walks across the roadway leading into their enclave...

A member of the ultra-orthodox Lev Tahor sect walks across the roadway leading into their enclave at Spurgeon's Villa, north of Chatham, Ont., while Chatham-Kent police keep watch over the community on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. (VICKI GOUGH/ QMI AGENCY)

Patrick Maloney, The London Free Press

, Last Updated: 10:05 PM ET

CHATHAM, Ont. -- Members of an Orthodox Jewish sect who fled last week with several children the courts believe are at risk of harm are heading back to Canada, according to reports.

But Lev Tahor members in Chatham-Kent, the Southwestern Ontario community they've called home since fleeing Quebec amid accusations of child abuse and neglect, are hoping it to be untrue.

At the end of the Sabbath, Mayer Rosner, a director in the community and spokesperson, noted Saturday night he'd not used a phone all day and hadn't yet heard of the reported return.

"I hope it isn't true," he said. "I'm very sorry to hear that, if it's true."

Asked to clarify whether he believed the children were better off away from Canadian authorities, he said: "Absolutely."

Thursday, police confirmed 12 of the 14 Lev Tahor children originally from Quebec had left Canada -- six to Guatemala and six to Trinidad and Tobago. The whereabouts of two others were unknown.


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