Standoff in Idaho Ends

The five children who were holed up in their remote Idaho home left the property peacefully Saturday ending a five-day impasse with sheriff's deputies.

The children left only after negotiators promised them they would try and help them stay together in state custody. Police said they have received a number of offers from foster families in the area offering to take in all the children.

The five children of the McGuckin family were taken to a hospital Saturday and were in good condition with no visible injuries.

"They're in very good shape," Susan Montgomery, director of nursing at a hospital in nearby Sandpoint told the Associated Press.

Over the past two days, the children spoke to negotiators, authorities say. The conduits to the police were mainly family members and close friends to the children.

15-Year-Old First Out, Assisted Authorities

On Friday, prosecutors said 15-year-old Ben McGuckin went to a neighbor's house late Thursday and accepted the neighbor's offer to meet with authorities. Police are not sure he had been his family's house, and suspect the boy, described as an avid survivalist, may have run into the woods at the start of the standoff, surviving easily in the dry, warm weather.

Police believe the teen is the boy who set off the stalemate Tuesday by yelling "get the guns out" when deputies arrived to remove the children and offer them food after they had already lured out their mother, JoAnn McGuckin, with a promise of grocery money. She was charged with felony injury of a child, police said.

Police said the woman is mentally ill and believes people are out to get her.

The family had been subsisting by cooking lake water and lilies over woodfires since the father, Michael McGuckin, died three weeks earlier, police said. The coroner attributed his death at age 61 to malnutrition and dehydration. He had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis several years ago.

Isolated and Impoverished

The family has lived in complete seclusion and dire poverty for years, neighbors said. The house lacks running water. Prosecutors said JoAnn McGuckin spent the family's meager resources on alcohol.

"It is too sad," said one neighbor. "These children especially needed help a long time ago."

The scene evoked memories of 1992, when a federal marshal was shot to death in an attempt to arrest white supremacist Randy Weaver in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Weaver's wife and child were killed in the subsequent standoff.

ABCNEWS' Neal Karlinsky and Steve Fudderman in Sandpoint, Idaho, contributed to this report.

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