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UPDATE: Kidnapping suspect waives extradition to Illinois

(WSAZ)
Published: Sep. 19, 2016 at 4:42 PM EDT
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UPDATE 10/5/16 @ 12:14 p.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man wanted out of Madison County, Illinois for allegedly kidnapping a teen and her baby waived his extradition Wednesday morning.

Christopher Derleth, 39, waived extradition in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

Madison County will now have 14 days to come pick him up or his charges in Kanawha County will be reconsidered.

Derleth is facing charges of kidnapping and child abduction in Illinois.

U.S. Marshals found Derleth with his 13-year-old step daughter and her 2-week-old son on September 24 in the Kayford section of Cabin Creek.

He was wanted in a nationwide AMBER alert.

Investigators say they received numerous tips, which helped them ensure the suspect didn't get away.


UPDATE 9/26/16 @ 6 p.m.

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Investigators say neighbors keeping their eyes open played a crucial role in helping them apprehend an Amber Alert suspect.

The week-long manhunt ended Saturday in the woods in the Kayford area of eastern Kanawha County.

That's where U.S. Marshals arrested Christopher Derleth, who'd been wanted out of Illinois since last Monday.

His 13-year-old stepdaughter and her 2-week old child were safe.

Faye Jarrell works at a convenience store along Cabin Creek Road. She says a little after noon Saturday, a customer walked in whose face was immediately recognizable.

"As soon as he walked through the door, I said 'Oh my God, that's the guy who kidnapped and they have the Amber Alert for.' "

When she looked out the window, her suspicion was confirmed.

The green van she'd seen in connection with the Amber Alert was parked outside. She says she could see a girl with a hoodie covering her head in the vehicle.

Despite knowing she was talking to a wanted kidnapper, she kept calm.

She says he purchased pop and beer.

"I started to card him since he bought beer to see if he was actually from Illinois, but then I thought that might set him off," she said.

She says he thanked her, and after he left she called 911.

About an hour later, U.S. Marshals found Derleth and the two kids by tents in the woods.

Investigators say they received numerous tips, which helped them ensure the suspect didn't get away.

Faye is a retired teachers aid and says it's a blessing knowing she was able to help play a part in making sure the kids were safe.

"I have feelings for kids," she said. "I try to help any kid I can."

Derleth declined to be interviewed from the South Central Regional Jail.

His extradition hearing is expected to be held within the next couple days.


UPDATE 9/24/16 @ 11:20 p.m.

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va (WSAZ) -- A man who was wanted out of Madison County, Illinois for alleged kidnapping has been found, arrested and arraigned in Kanawha County, West Virginia.

Christopher Derleth, 39, was arraigned from South Central Regional Jail Saturday night. He currently is not facing any charges in West Virginia but is being held as a fugitive from justice, according to court documents.

According to the documents, Derleth was charged with two counts of aggravated kidnapping and parental abduction out of Madison County, Illinois.

He was denied bond Saturday night.

The magistrate tells WSAZ that Derleth's extradition hearing will take place next week. Saturday night, Derleth signed a document requesting to be extradited back to Illinois.


UPDATE 9/24/16 @ 2:40 p.m.

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va (WSAZ) -- U.S. Marshals tell WSAZ that two missing children out of Illinois have been found alive and safe.

Marshals say the kidnapping suspect, Christopher Derleth, who was wanted in a nationwide AMBER alert, has been found and arrested.

They say Derleth was in the Kayford section of Cabin Creek. A source tells WSAZ Derleth and the two children were off the road, tucked away and camped out with tents. Marshals discovered him at around 1:30 Saturday afternoon.

The children are being taken to CAMC Women and Children's to be checked out.

Kanawha County Sheriff deputies, State Police, U.S. Marshals and the Madison County Sheriff's Office from Illinois are all on scene.

U.S. Marshals say the public's help was crucial in finding everyone safely.

According to the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office, Derleth will be returned to Illinois.


UPDATE 9/24/16 @ 12:10 p.m.

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The United States Marshal Service is asking the public to be vigilant after Christopher Ray Derleth, 39, from Illinois was spotted on surveillance Friday in the Kanawha County area.

Derleth, who was last seen wearing blue jeans and forest green shirt, is accused of abducting his 13 year-old step-daughter Katherine Elizabeth, and her two-week old child. Katherine is described as 4'8" tall, 95lbs with brown, shoulder-length hair, and brown eyes. She is also known to have three birthmarks on her right knee.

U.S. Marshals say Derleth could be around local campsites, or in Slaughter’s Creek from Chelyan in Kanawha County into Boone County near State Route 3; and Paint Creek from its mouth at the Kanawha River to the Mossy area in Fayette County. Suspected campsites may be in the woods, away from roadways, and hunters should be especially aware.

U.S. Marshals say anyone who spots Mr. Derleth or Katherine is asked to call 911. Do not approach them.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.


UPDATE 9/23/16 @ 4:00 p.m.

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- U.S. Marshals tell WSAZ they have reason to believe the man wanted for kidnapping his 13-year-old stepdaughter and her two-week-old son is in Kanawha County.

Marshals say law enforcement agencies from all levels are searching for Christopher Ray Derleth from Illinois.

Dispatchers say a credit card in his name was used Friday at two stores in the Chelyan area of Kanawha County.

According to the Madison County Sheriff's Department, a court order was previously issued out of Bond County, Illinois, which prevented Derleth from having any contact with Katherine Derleth, pending the outcome of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Marshals say the description from the amber alert still stands.

Christopher's vehicle is described as a green 1996 or 1997 Mercury Villager Minivan with Illinois registration E833210.

According to deputies, Katherine suffers from a congenital heart condition and had a pacemaker implanted when she was born.

The equipment needed to ensure that the pacemaker is properly working was left behind.

Missi Hull lives close to the gas station where the card was used. She says it's disturbing knowing the man at the center of this Amber Alert case may have been so close.

"I just can't imagine what the parents are going through right now," Hull said. "With it being that close to home, it sinks in."

Anyone with information on the whereabouts is asked to call 911 or the Madison County Sheriff's Department at 618-692-4433.


UPDATE 9/23/16 @ 6:09 a.m.

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (WSAZ) -- A nationwide arrest warrant has been issued for Christopher Derleth, 39, for the kidnapping of his 13-year-old stepdaughter, Katherine Derleth, and her two week old son, Christopher Ray Derleth.

Investigators say Derleth took the two from their state appointed guardian's home in rural Edwardsville, Illinois on Sunday, September 18.

According to the Madison County Sheriff's Department, a court order was previously issued out of Bond County, Illinois, which prevented Derleth from having any contact with Katherine, pending the outcome of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Investigators say they have developed evidence that Derleth's vehicle was last seen east bound on I-77 in West Virginia, south of Charleston, on Sunday, September 18 around 12:40 p.m.

According to the sheriff's department, Derleth is an outdoorsman and left Illinois equipped with tents, sleeping bags, and goods/merchandise that would commonly be gathered for a camping trip.

Deputies say he has talked with friends and family in recent months about free camp sites throughout the country and is likely staying in a campground, national forest, or a rural wooded area that would allow for free or inexpensive primitive camping.

Christopher's vehicle is described as a green 1996 or 1997 Mercury Villager Minivan with Illinois registration E833210.

According to deputies, Katherine suffers from a congenital heart condition and had a pacemaker implanted when she was born.

The equipment needed to ensure that the pacemaker is properly working was left behind.

Deputies say Katherine is also recovering from a cesarean section delivery and is still under a doctor's care as it relates to the procedure and birth of her son.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts is asked to call 911 or the Madison County Sheriff's Department at 618-692-4433.

UPDATE 9/22/16 @ 7:30 a.m.

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (WSAZ) -- Pictures of the van that a missing teen and her baby are believed to be in have been released.

The Madison County Sheriff's Department released the pictures Wednesday.

Investigators say Christopher Derleth, 39, took his 13-year-old stepdaughter, Katherine Derleth and her son, Christopher Ray Derleth, who is two weeks old.

The sheriff's department says the van pictured is the one Christopher Derleth is driving and depicts the van in its current state.

According to a post on social media by the Madison County Sheriff's Department, "representatives from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are working closely with Madison County Sheriff's Office detectives to bring this investigation to a successful conclusion."

The van has Illinois license plates with the number E833210.

If you have any information, you're asked to call 911 or the Madison County Sheriff's Office at 618-692-4433.

UPDATE 9/20/16 @ 12:15 p.m.

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - Prosecutors in southern Illinois have filed kidnapping and child abduction charges against a 39-year-old man they say took his 13-year-old stepdaughter and her infant son.

Police haven't located Christopher M. Derleth, his stepdaughter Katherine Elizabeth Derleth and her son, Christopher Ray Derleth.

He's previously been ordered not to contact the girl.

Madison County prosecutors announced the charges Monday.

The three went missing over the weekend. Officials say the girl and baby were taken from a home in the town of Carpenter, north of Edwardsville.

Authorities say the baby was born Sept. 1. Sheriff John Lakin said authorities are worried because the infant is so young and the girl gave birth not long ago.

He is known to drive a green 1996 Mercury Villager Minivan with Illinois registration, E833210.


UPDATE 9/19/16 @ 9:45 p.m.

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The last known sighting of a vehicle identified in a Amber Alert was reported Monday evening in the Charleston area.

That vehicle was last seen traveling on Interstate 77 South near the 94-mile marker. That is the MacCorkle Avenue exit in the Kanawha City area of Charleston.

The Madison County Sheriff's Office in Illinois has issued an Amber Alert for a missing juvenile and her two week-old son, who they believe could be headed to West Virginia.

Investigators are looking for Katherine Derleth, 13, she is 4' 8'' and 95 pounds with brown eyes and brown shoulder-length hair. She has three birth marks on her right knee.

They are also searching for Katherine's son, Christopher Ray Derleth, who is just 2 weeks old, with brown hair and dark eyes.

Katherine and her son went missing from a guardian's house on Sunday.

Investigators say the pair could be with Katherine's stepfather, Christopher M. Derleth. He is 39 years old, 6' 1'' and 160 lbs. with brown hair and brown eyes.

He is known to drive a green 1997 Mercury Villager Minivan with Illinois registration, E833210.

The Madison County Sheriff's Department says Christopher Derleth is an avid camper and could be at a rural campground or motel.

Investigators want to speak with the stepfather in reference to Katherine's disappearance.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Madison County Sheriff's Office at 618-692-4433.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for more information.


ORIGINAL STORY 9/19/16 @ 4:42 p.m.

MADISON COUNTY, Ill. (WSAZ) -- The Madison County Sheriff's Office in Illinois has issued an Amber Alert for a missing juvenile and her two week-old son, who they believe could be headed to West Virginia.

Investigators are looking for Katherine Derleth, 13, she is 4' 8'' and 95 pounds with brown eyes and brown shoulder-length hair. She has three birth marks on her right knee.

They are also searching for Katherine's son, Christopher Ray Derleth, who is just 2 weeks old, with brown hair and dark eyes.

Katherine and her son went missing from a guardian's house on Sunday.

Investigators say the pair could be with Katherine's stepfather, Christopher M. Derleth. He is 39 years old, 6' 1'' and 160 lbs. with brown hair and brown eyes.

He is known to drive a green 1997 Mercury Villager Minivan with Illinois registration, E833210.

The Madison County Sheriff's Department says Christopher Derleth is an avid camper and could be at a rural campground or motel.

Investigators want to speak with the stepfather in reference to Katherine's disappearance.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Madison County Sheriff's Office at 618-692-4433.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for more information.