PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) FOX 29 spoke off camera with some members of the Amish church who knew Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus pretty well before the couple left the Amish community in 2003. They say the news is sad and very hard to understand.
Based on court documents, we visited Daniel and Savilla's Lancaster County farmhouse. A young man on the property identified himself as the couple's son. He stepped outside to talk with us briefly - just a few days after his parents were arrested and several of his siblings and nieces were rescued from Lee Kaplan's Bucks County home.
Stoltzfus didn't tell us why his sisters were sent to live with Kaplan. He deferred that question to his father. Court documents explain that Daniel and Savilla needed money. Neighbors say he used to own a repair shop but the business went under and the property was sold.
According to authorities, Kaplan helped the couple out of financial ruin and in exchange they say they gave the man their oldest daughter four years ago - she was just 14 at the time. The girl told police that two of the 12 children removed from Kaplan's home belong to her and that Kaplan is the father, according to authorities. 51-year-old Kaplan is facing multiple sex abuse charges. Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus face multiple charges, too.
Stolzfus' son defended his father as a good man and explained that Kaplan has been a friend of the family's for years. They first met him at an auction. Members of the Amish community who knew Daniel and Savilla Stolzfus say this is all so tough to comprehend and that it became a topic in church over the weekend.
Stolzfus' son says he has not had any communication with his parents since they were arrested last week