COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say a mother from New York who is accused of abducting eight of her own children from a child welfare agency may be in South Carolina.

Police say 28-year-old Shanel Nadal of Manhattan was visiting the children at the Forestdale agency in Queens on Monday when she took them. They range in age from about 1 year old to 11 years old.

Nadal might be traveling with the children’s father, 34-year-old Nephra Payne. The couple apparently lost custody of the children in 2009, though it wasn’t immediately clear why.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said Friday that the Paynes have ties to the southeastern part of the state.

Investigators believe Nadal and Payne may be driving a late model black Ford passenger van.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.