Friday, December 22, 2006

Baby returned unharmed

KY. couple arrested - infant unharmed
Suspects in death of social worker
Kentucky Post, Oct. 20, 2006, pg. A2.

Authorities arrested a Kentucky couple suspected of kidnapping the woman's 9-month-old son from a social worker who was later found dead, an FBI official said Thursday night.

The infant was found unharmed, said FBI spokesman Marshall Stone. FBI agents arrested Renee Terrell and her boyfriend, Christopher Wayne Luttrell about 8:30 p.m. in a rural area near Godfrey, about 35 miles north of St. Louis, Stone said. The boy, Saige, was found in the same place, he said.

Sgt. John Nevels of the Henderson Police Department was on the scene and said the couple were caught hiding in a camper that they had sought shelter in after their car apparently broke down and was stuck in mud nearby.

"They were getting pretty desperate and had run out of money and food," Nevels said. "They started reaching out to people to try and help them."

Nevels said he didn't know why Terrell, 33, and Luttrell, 23, had come to Illinois, but authorities had been searching the area for them after contacting the couple's friends and family.

The baby was examined by a local physician and found in good condition, FBI agent John Stafford said during a news conference at the Alton Police Department, where the couple were being held Thursday night. The child was in the custody of authorities.

Stafford could not say when Terrell and Luttrell would appear in court. Earlier in the day, the FBI had issued warrants for Terrell and Luttrell for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution on state kidnapping charges, according to Tracy Reinhold, an FBI agent in Kentucky.

The baby had been removed from Terrell's custody when he was 13 days old because of neglect, according to police. On Monday, social worker Boni Frederick, 67, took the boy to his mother's home in Henderson for a visit.

Frederick was found beaten to death at the house later that day, and the baby, his mother and Frederick's station wagon were gone, authorities said.

Henderson police Detective Ron Adams said Frederick's purse was found near Mount Vernon, Ill., which is about 100 miles southeast of Godfrey.

A neighbor, Jean Davis, told The Courier-Journal that Terrell learned last week that the missing boy, Saige, was to be put up for adoption. Terrell told friends on Saturday she planned to take the boy and run away to New Mexico, Davis said.

"She loved her baby," Davis told the newspaper."She talked about how she was going to get her baby and everything back. She was buying clothes. She had a baby bed and a high chair and everything.... I guess it made her snap."


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