Father wanted for sexually assaulting three of his nine children after years spent living in motels and a shopping mall
Nationwide search underway for James Beaudrie
Wife Kijua held in jail on charges of child neglect
Children were covered in bedbugs when they were found sleeping in shopping mall
Thought to have been physically and sexually abused
By Daily Mail Reporter
A nationwide search is under way for a father who is accused of sexually assaulting three of his nine children while they spent their time living between motels and a store at a shopping mall.
James Julius Beaudrie, 36, from Minnesota, is charged with eight counts of third-degree sexual abuse and is believed to have fled Iowa - where the family had been living.
His wife Kijua Lynn Beaudrie, 35, has been arrested on three counts of child neglect.
She is being held at the Polk County Jail on a $10,000 bond.
Earlier this year, police discovered that the couple and their nine children divided their time sleeping between a game store they managed in a shopping mall and a motel room where they would shower and do laundry.
When police found the children sleeping on a futon at the back of the game store, they were covered in bedbug bites. They range in age from six months to 16 years.
Police believe the alleged abuse may have been going on for years.
The family moved from Minnesota to Iowa in 2011 and ran the game store for the first part of the year.
According to the DesMoines Register, in October 2011, the family moved to Des Moines, where Beaudrie opened a GameSip, a store that sells video, board and card games and hosts game nights, in Merle Hay Mall.
Des Moines Police Sgt Chris Scott said on Monday: 'There are several abnormal aspects to this case. The culture of the family, the living in a mall, the broad scope of the investigation.
'It seems like he was almost a cult personality in this family. He was larger than life. Like he somehow brainwashed these kids.'
Investigators say he kept the family isolated. The children were said to be home schooled, though there is no record of any home schooling.
According to the Register, one of the daughters ran away in October last year and told employees at a shelter she stayed in that her father frequently spanked her with his hand or brush handle.
'It seems like (the father) was almost a cult personality in this family. He was larger than life. Like he somehow brainwashed these kids'
Police reports show that Beaudrie admitted spanking his daughter about 25 times during the two days before she ran away, saying his religious beliefs allowed him to do it. He was charged and fined $65.
The daughter later returned to the family as Iowa Department of Human Services prefer to keep a family together whenever possible.
But in January this year the girl ran away again saying her father sexually assaulted her.
She was immediately placed in a shelter after detectives intercepted a letter from Beaudrie to his daughter and that letter 'was the straw that broke the camel’s back', Detective Mitchell told The DesMoines Register.
He would not elaborate about what was in the letter but the rest of the children were removed from their parents soon after.
Since the children have been removed from the care of their parents, they have been able to open up about what took place since they moved to Des Moines.
They are now either living in shelters or with foster families and are said to be improving remarkably since they have been taken into care.
The investigation in Des Moines is ongoing and authorities said additional charges could be added or current ones amended.