Noncustodial Arizona parents abducted 3 children from their grandmother, sheriff says
12/17/2021 11:42 am PST
PAULDEN, Ariz. (TCD) -- Noncustodial parents were arrested Thursday for allegedly abducting their three children from their custodial grandmother's house.
According to a media release from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, on Dec. 7, at around 6 a.m., 36-year-old Ryan Nicholas Mullin and 32-year-old Ashlee Lynne Waldie drove from Apache Junction to the children's grandparents' home in Paulden.
According to the Sheriff's Office, the courts concluded that Mullin and Waldie's three children were at risk due to the parents' history of drug abuse and neglect. Two of the children were with the Department of Child Services under a safety plan, and the youngest child was formally in the care of Department of Child Services, the Sheriff's Office said. As such, the grandparents of the children reportedly have temporary custody.
The Sheriff's Office said Mullin told the grandparents that he was coming to retrieve the kids and threatened to kill them if they tried to escape. Out of fear, the grandmother reportedly did not do anything to stop the parents from abducting the children.
The Sheriff's Office said deputies were dispatched to the grandmother's home that same day after a Department of Child Services employee reported that the children had been abducted. Upon further investigation, the Sheriff's Office said investigators learned that the children were taken to the Phoenix area.
Authorities obtained arrest warrants for Mullin and Waldie and located the parents and all three children in a car in Apache Junction, the Sheriff's Office said.
Mullin and Waldie were arrested and booked into the Yavapai County Jail. They were charged with abduction of a child from state custody. Additionally, the Sheriff's Office said Mullin had a gun in his possession, and he may be charged with weapon crimes as well.
According to the Sheriff's Office, the children were seen by EMTs and then the Marshal’s Office team turned the children over to the Department of Child Services.
Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes said in a statement, "We are relieved the children are safe and thank the U.S. Marshal’s Office for their skill and dedication in this case. The defense of children is one of our highest priorities, and the collaboration between YCSO and the Marshal’s Office demonstrated just how powerful a force the partnership in law enforcement can be when we are when trying to protect our kids."
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