By TODD GLASSCOCK
After an approximately month-long investigation, Mineral Wells police, with assistance from U.S. marshals, have charged one woman with kidnapping.
Jamie Hunley, 37, remained in Palo Pinto County Jail on Thursday charged with felony kidnapping. Bond had not been set as of Thursday afternoon.
Additionally, Christopher Lee Brown, 27, is being held in Johnson County Jail charged with interference of child custody in connection with the kidnapping. He is in Johnson County Jail on unrelated charges.
Hunley was arrested in Ranger by U.S. marshals after a Mineral Wells police investigation that began in early March, said Police Chief Dean Sullivan. The investigation began when a woman reported that the father of her children had not returned them, a 1-½-year-old and a 3-year-old, after a regular visitation.
On March 17, Brown was picked up in North Richland Hills on unrelated charges and transferred to Johnson County, Sullivan said. Accompanying him then were the children and his girlfriend, Hunley.
Toward the end of the month the children had not been returned to their mother, he said.
Mineral Wells police were slowed in their efforts to take further action because the mother’s copy of the custody arrangement was unsigned, he said.
A signed custody arrangement was retrieved from Tarrant County on April 17 and Hunley became a suspect on interference with custody charges, Sullivan said. Detectives repeatedly called Hunley to return the children.
Police learned from the mother’s family members that Hunley did not intend to return the children, and with this information stepped up the investigation, he said.
While tracking Hunley down, police learned on April 28 that Hunley was en route to Galveston, he said. He said once Hunley fled with the children more than 120 miles, she faced kidnapping charges.
Police called for assistance from U.S. marshals, who were able to locate and arrest Hunley on April 30 in Ranger with the children and another man, he said.
The children were unharmed and released to their mother, he said.
Police were assisted by Child Protective Services and sheriff’s departments from Tarrant, Johnson, Parker and Palo Pinto counties, Sullivan said.