Friday, December 22, 2006

Mother and boyfriend face murder charges

Rescued boy rejoins foster home
Murder warrants issues for captured
Halladay, Jessie. Louisville Courier-Journal, Oct. 21, 2006, pg. B1.

The baby boy who was the focus of a three-day Amber Alert search was returned from Illinois to the home of his foster parents in Kentucky last evening.

Saige Terrell's foster mother, Jennifer Snyder, said that she was grateful for the baby's safe return and that she and her husband, David, hope to adopt him.

"I want to thank everyone involved," Snyder said. "... I just thank everybody from the bottom of my heart."

Earlier yesterday, the two adults involved in taking 9-month-old Saige appeared in federal court in Illinois and waived their right to a hearing that would have determined whether any federal bond would be set.Both Renee Terrell, the boy's mother, and her boyfriend, Christopher Wayne Luttrell, were charged with fleeing Kentucky to avoid prosecution.

They are expected to be returned to Kentucky next week, Henderson police detective Ron Adams said.Terrell kidnapped Saige on Monday during what was supposed to be a two-hour court-ordered visit to her Henderson home, authorities say.

Henderson police, along with the Kentucky State Police and the FBI, began a search for Saige after the social worker who took him for his visit, 67-year-old Boni Frederick, was found dead in Terrell's home Monday afternoon.

Henderson police Sgt. John Nevels said murder warrants were issued yesterday against Terrell and Luttrell in the death of Frederick , whose funeral was yesterday in Dixon, Ky.

On Thursday night, police and the FBI arrested Terrell and Luttrell in Godfrey, Ill., a small town about 30 miles north of St. Louis. The couple were found hiding in a vacant camper.

Social service workers in Illinois picked up Saige on Thursday night, and two workers from Kentucky, as well as his foster parents, traveled to Illinois to bring him home yesterday, said Vikki Franklin, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

"He's in excellent health and will return to live with his foster parents, who are relieved that he's safe and back in their care," Franklin said.

Terrell and Luttrell were being held by the Alton, Ill., police department, said David Beyer, a spokesman for the FBI based in Louisville. Terrell previously was charged with kidnapping Saige and Luttrell was wanted on a parole violation warrant from Jefferson County.

In their search for the baby and the fleeing couple, authorities used tips from the public, investigative interviews and some scientific and technological tools available to the FBI. Beyer would not describe specific investigative techniques.

Authorities confirmed early in the investigation that on Tuesday, Terrell and Luttrell had stopped at a gas station in Smithboro, Ill., and bought gas using Frederick's credit card. That led them to southwestern Illinois.On Thursday, a truck driver who stopped at an exit off Interstate 64 found Frederick's purse and turned it in to police in Mount Vernon, Ill.

By Thursday afternoon, Beyer said, the search centered on Godfrey.About 9:30 p.m., an FBI SWAT team from Springfield, Ill., closed in around a camper on private property off Blossom Road. Luttrell put his hands up as directed and Terrell, who was holding the baby, surrendered him and went with police cooperatively, Beyer said.

He said police believe that Terrell and Luttrell may have arrived at the camper as early as Wednesday night after Frederick's car, which they were driving, got stuck in the mud on an unpaved rural road.

The car was found about a quarter- mile from the camper where the couple were found, Beyer said."We believe they abandoned that and went on foot searching for a place to stay," Beyer said.

The camper was located between two homes, including the home of the camper's owner."They happened on it by chance," Beyer said. "And out of desperation they broke into it and used it for shelter."

By the time they were caught, Beyer said, "they were getting very hungry. They were very cold. ... They were getting pretty desperate."


Post a Comment

<< Home