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Katie Beers to remain in foster care for now

Katie Beers, the 10-year-old who was kidnapped and held captive for 16 days in an underground bunker, will remain in foster care for at least another year under an agreement reached in Suffolk County Family Court.

The agreement, which was confirmed by a lawyer involved in the case, reportedly involved an admission by Katie's mother, Marilyn Beers, that she was neglectful and that her lax supervision created the conditions that made the abduction possible.

Katie has been living with a foster family on eastern Long Island since January, shortly after John Esposito, a family friend, revealed to authorities the elaborately concealed bunker he built beneath his garage in Bay Shore, where Katie was imprisoned. Esposito has been indicted on kidnapping charges and is being held in the Suffolk County jail here.

Authorities said Esposito, a builder, forced Katie into the bunker when she spurned his sexual advances on Dec. 28. He had taken her out for the afternoon to celebrate her birthday.

In the Family Court proceeding, where Katie and her brother, John Beers, were about to be called as witnesses, Suffolk County was seeking to remove Katie from her mother permanently on charges of abuse and neglect. Under the agreement, which was ordered sealed by Judge James F.X. Doyle, the county reportedly dropped the abuse allegations.

Ms. Beers, a single mother and part-time cabdriver from Mastic Beach, had petitioned the court for immediate custody after initially allowing the county to place Katie in a temporary home.

Under the agreement, reached on Wednesday, she will continue to have visitation rights. A decision on her fitness for custody would follow within a year.