by Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com Staff
Missionaries Christian and Danielle Holm were devastated Tuesday when it became clear that their baby was not coming home with them that day. It has been more than 2 months since Alabama social workers and sheriffs ripped their newborn baby from his mother’s arms and placed him into foster care, even though the parents have broken no laws and have not harmed their child.
Judge Melody Brooks Walker was due to render a judgement in their case on Tuesday, December 20, after hearing the case on Wednesday and Thursday of the previous week.
That didn’t happen.
The Holms and several supporters came to the courthouse before the scheduled 4 pm hearing, hoping for answers. They received word Tuesday afternoon that Judge Walker had recused herself from their case that morning. This was reportedly done “to avoid the appearance of impropriety.” They were told that there will not be another hearing or a decision on the case until a new judge is appointed. They don’t know when that will be.
Tears flowed freely in the parking lot as Danielle learned that the judge would not be issuing any judgement, and that she would not be getting her baby back that day.
I can’t keep going home without my baby.
Christian Holm sought to understand what was happening.
This is inhumane to torture our little baby and us like this.
A number of supporters were visibly shaken. They told Health Impact News that they could not comprehend how DHR and the court could continue to do what they are doing to such loving people as the Holms.
Janet Baber, a supporter who has stood alongside the couple throughout their ordeal, addressed Judge Walker’s comment about impropriety:
Kidnapping is improper!
She and others were adamant that the parents have done nothing to deserve having their baby taken from them. They don’t understand why there continues to be delays in the Holms’ baby coming home. They told Health Impact News that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Danielle or Christian Holm, and that there is no reason for their baby to have been taken.
See original story:
Forced Unwanted Medical Treatment from Strangers Prior to Going to the Hospital
The series of events leading up to the taking of the still-unnamed Baby Holm contain too many “coincidences” for the family’s supporters to believe are mere happenstance. There are many questions regarding what is going on with Cleburne County, Cheaha State Park, and Anniston’s Regional Medical Center.
Danielle and Christian Holm had been traveling across the country, camping out in various state parks and spreading their message of getting back to nature and rejecting the materialism that has consumed much of modern society. They loved mountains and the freedom that they found in embracing nature. They were expecting their first baby with excitement and anticipation as their travels brought them to Mt. Cheaha State Park in Alabama.
Along their travels, they met with midwives and doulas, and even had an ultrasound done about 2 months before the birth of their baby. They left their car behind in Montgomery and had been at Mt. Cheaha for about 2 weeks before Danielle went into early labor on October 8, 2016.
Their camp was set up in a recreational area that was away from the other campers, a place where they were told was not a site normally used by campers. The weather was mild, and there had been no rain for weeks. The state was in an extreme drought, and a burn ban was in effect. They had met Tammy Power, the superintendent of Cheaha State Park. Despite the burn ban, she allegedly gave them permission to build a fire at their campsite.
During the day on Sunday, there were some other visitors who, for unknown reasons, reportedly set up camp near their site. Tammy Power allegedly went to the Holms’ camp to let them know that she had given the visitors permission to build a fire to cook some some meat and vegetables. There was also a couple who came to the ordinarily isolated area of the park apparently to take pictures of some children.
By early evening the other visitors were reportedly gone, and Danielle’s labor grew more intense. She and Christian became concerned when they saw some bleeding occurring with her contractions. Even though they had prepared for an unassisted birth, they recognized they probably needed to go to the hospital.
Christian called 911. He recalled that Tammy Power had told him earlier that, if he needed to call for help, he should tell the 911 operator that they were in Cleburne County, and that the dispatcher needed to contact her.
Later, supporters who visited the campsite said that it was in Clay County, not Cleburne County. Cheaha State Park covers 2,799 acres in both Clay and Cleburne Counties. They question why Ms. Power was making a point that the couple should state that they were in Cleburne County.
Shortly after Christian made the 911 call, park security official Sandlin arrived on the scene, and radioed Tammy Power. She and her niece allegedly arrived shortly after with about 6 other civilians in black SUVs. At the time, they reportedly told Christian that the additional people happened to be at the park’s restaurant and “heard about” Danielle being in labor.
Tammy Power later reportedly told a different version – that she saw them driving on the way down. They asked what was going on, and then decided to join Tammy when they learned that there was a woman in labor.
At any rate, the strangers were brought, uninvited, to the Holms’ campsite by the park superintendent.
Conveniently, Power’s niece, Amber Smith, and two of the strangers happened to be nurses. Conveniently, they happened to have gloves and other medical equipment with them.
Danielle’s labor was getting very painful and she was standing and leaning on her husband when the unexpected and unwanted visitors arrived. The park superintendent reportedly pushed Christian away from his wife and took over his spot, as one of the new arrivals told Christian that they “used to work” as emergency room nurses and they were ready to help. He even had a little medical kit with him.
One of the nurses told Danielle that they needed to check her vitals, but Danielle allegedly told them that she didn’t ask for that.
It was at this time that things allegedly got very strange. Ms. Power insisted that Danielle hold onto her, while the female nurse who was not her niece, began pushing Danielle’s legs apart, insisting:
I have to check. I have to check to make sure the baby is OK. You have to let me in there. Your baby is not going to be healthy if you don’t let me in there.
Besides the inappropriate nature of the methods the alleged nurse was using, this stranger on the scene did not have Danielle’s permission to touch her.
Danielle was trying to focus on her intense labor and was not really in a position to fight the gloved woman, but she told her repeatedly:
Please don’t touch me. Please don’t.
She screamed, “No!” when the woman shoved a hand up inside her in the middle of a contraction. The woman called out to her companions that Danielle was dilated 3, maybe 4, centimeters and that the baby was breech.
It is unclear how the woman decided that the baby was breech at 3 centimeters dilation. She allegedly did not palpate, or feel the outside of Danielle’s belly, to try to determine the position of the baby.
Health Impact News consulted a couple of homebirth midwives who stated that it would be very unlikely for even a skilled practitioner to determine that a baby was breech based solely on an internal exam.
Doctors generally rely on ultrasound to tell the position of the baby, while midwives use their hands to palpate the baby through the mother’s belly. Had the nurse listened to the baby’s heart rate, that could have given a good indication of the baby’s position, but that allegedly didn’t happen.
This mother was reportedly resisting the assault to her body, which would make it difficult to determine any useful information from the unwelcome vaginal exam.
The midwives we consulted said that there is no way that a vaginal exam or lack thereof has any ability to ensure a healthy baby. That is not the way that information about the health of the baby is gleaned. The nurse didn’t attempt to listen to the baby with a doppler or fetoscope, which would have shown the baby’s heart rate and could have given a trained attendant information about the status of the baby.
Neither Danielle nor Christian recognized either of the alleged nurses. The female nurse is described as being a heavy set woman with short blondish hair. The male nurse was older, possibly late 50s, with white hair.
Neither worked with the ambulance company.
Legally, it is considered assault for medical personnel to do anything to a patient over their objections, and that applies whether the patient is on the side of the road in an accident or in an emergency room.
Oddly enough, there was another person in the group that Christian recognized. One of the men had been near their campsite earlier in the day. He was one of the pair that were given permission by Tammy Power to have a fire and cook meat and vegetables.
Shortly after this, Christian was able to get his wife to Tammy’s truck so they could drive to the place where they met the ambulance. When they arrived at the rendezvous point, there were reportedly 3 or 4 more cars full of people, even though the park had been all but abandoned earlier in the evening. The couple wondered where all the people came from. It was like there were people and headlights everywhere.
About 15 minutes after Christian called 911, someone else called 911, reporting a pregnant girl at the state park with complications. The Holms don’t know who made that call. No one knew about any problems with the labor until he had called and the gang arrived on the scene.
Interestingly, the records from dispatch only show the 2nd 911 call, not the one that Christian made. The record of that phone call seems to have disappeared from state records.
Supporters say that it all seemed like there were too many coincidences to be logical.
Park Superintendent Barges Into Hospital Delivery Room Against Desires of Parents
They transported to Anniston Regional Medical Center. Immediately upon arrival, doctors performed an ultrasound and found the baby to be in the proper, head-down position. He was not breech.
One of the documents that the Holms were asked to sign asked who they wanted to allow into the delivery room. They signed stating that they didn’t want any visitors at all. They view birth as a sacred and private event, and wanted to keep it that way as much as possible, even though they now were in the hospital.
Shortly after, a nurse came into the room saying that the park superintendent Tammy Power was at the hospital and wanted to come up to the room. Danielle and Christian said no. They had already made their wishes clear.
About 20 minutes later, Tammy Power allegedly came into the delivery room anyway. It is unclear how she got past the hospital’s security protocols, or if they even had such protocols in place. Even though her presence made it very uncomfortable for the couple, they were polite to her and didn’t kick her out immediately. However, she tried to convince Christian to leave the room, telling him that he needed to go get something to eat.
He had no intention of leaving his wife who was in labor. Danielle was between 9 and 10 centimeters at that point. No father who wants to maintain a relationship with the mother in the future would dare leave her side at that time.
The Holms say that Ms. Power’s behavior was very disturbing to them. She kept repeating, “We’re family.”
They weren’t. They barely knew her. They were nice to her for a little while, but Christian finally asked her to leave. It was their sacred family time.
Their baby was born in perfect health on the morning of October 10.
Parents Originally Falsely Accused as Drug Smugglers
Our original story states that police originally came into the hospital alleging that Danielle and Christian were other people who were drug traffickers from Arizona. Supporters have since learned how that came about. Hospital security guards testified that a nurse at the hospital Googled Christian Holm and found news articles out of Arizona about a man with a similar name who had been arrested for drug smuggling. The articles linked him to a woman named Daniela.
In another context, this could have played out like a comedy of errors in an entertaining sitcom. However, in the hospital that touts itself as the first Baby-Friendly hospital in the state of Alabama, the nurse’s poor analysis of his Google search had devastating consequences.
- The missionary dad is Christian Clarke Holm. The man arrested in Arizona was Richard Christian Holm.
- The missionary mother is Danielle Holm. The woman arrested in Arizona was Daniela Ruiz. Different last name, and one “l.”
- The 2 criminals were arrested on 2 different days, for 2 different crimes, and 2 different places on the Arizona border. The articles clearly state that it was “two separate incidents.”
- There is no indication that the two criminals in Arizona even knew each other. The ONLY connection revealed by an in-depth Google search is the fact that both appear in the same articles. The articles all appear to originate from the same source, which simply lists a couple of crimes occurring around the same time period.
Even though the mistaken identity was easily cleared up, DHR still kept the baby, faulting the parents for refusing a birth certificate and social security number. Christian Holm has presented documentation to everyone involved with the case that these are not crimes, and that there is no law compelling them to obtain these for their baby.
One supporter asked how Anniston Regional Medical Center could be considered “Baby-friendly” when breastfeeding newborns are taken from their mothers’ breasts without evidence of abuse. The most baby-friendly act would be to keep mother and baby together. The first 3 months of a baby’s life are considered by many experts to be the “Fourth Trimester.” Babies are quite immature when they are born, and close mother-baby contact is vital to their well-being. Being snatched from their mothers by overzealous social workers is anything but “baby-friendly.”
This is the same hospital where Sabrina Cartee gave birth to her youngest baby, who was taken from her at 2 days old, simply because DHR had custody of her other children. Judge Melody Walker and Cleburne County DHR were involved with their case as well. Like the Holms, the Cartees were also under an unconstitutional gag order. After a very long, hard-fought battle, the Cartee children are home. The baby spent most of her first 2 years in foster care.
Forged Documents Support State Kidnapping?
There are alleged discrepancies between documents filed at the courthouse and records from the hospital. Some documents that should match don’t. Some dates are not lining up.
There is one hospital document where social worker Kristen Alex Martin signed as the mother of the baby, certifying by her signature that the mother received her baby and checked the hospital band on the mother and on the baby. The false signature was allegedly witnessed by a nurse at RMC.
A paralegal advocate from another state who has been working with the family drove to Alabama in order to help the Holms. He came out of the courthouse shortly after the hearing began on December 14, saying that Judge Melody Walker asked him to leave because he is not an attorney:
I don’t think it’s proper.
Yet, the foster parents were allowed to stay. They are strangers to the family, whose only connection to them is the baby that came into their care at 24 hours of age. This makes no sense to the Holms’ supporters.
What is really going on in Cleburne County, Alabama? The FBI has allegedly said that they are investigating.
How You Can Help
Supporters have set up a Facebook page called #FreeBabyHolm, where people may follow the story and offer support.
Senator Gerald Dial is the Senator for Cleburne County. He may be reached at 334-242-7874, or contacted here.
Representative Richard Lindsay represents their district. He may be reached at 334-242-7713, or contacted here.
According to the Alabama Family Rights Association, ALFRA:
Alabama has a nine-member task force created to examine the work of the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR). If you have issues or concerns about DHR services, your best plan of action is to contact the following legislators/lawmakers and committee members:
Connie Rowe, State Representative, has replaced Mac McCutcheon as the Task Force Chair / 334-242-7600/ email here.
Chris England, State Representative / 334-242-7703 / 205-535-4859 / email here.
Greg Reed, State Senator / 334-242-7894 / he is on Facebook.
The complete list of committee Members can be found here: Executive Order Number 11
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