EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Police are asking the public for help finding a man suspected of abducting his 13-year-old stepdaughter and her 2-week-old son.
Investigators believe 39-year-old Christoper Derleth kidnapped Katherine Derleth and her newborn son, Christopher Ray Derleth. The teen and her son were last seen Sunday at the home of a guardian in suburban Edwardsville, Illinois.
“We are asking for assistance from authorities from here all the way to the East Coast,” said State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons. “We believe they may be in West Virginia or somewhere along the way.”
Christopher Derleth has been charged with aggravated kidnapping, a Class X felony, for allegedly taking the baby out of the state of Illinois.
Police believe the teen and her baby may be in danger.
“A 19-day-old child needs medical care that I don’t think a 13-year-old is prepared to deliver,” said Sheriff John Lakin. “I think we also have to look at the situation that a 13-year-old old young lady delivered this child 19 days ago, and she may need medical care as well.”
Police issued a nationwide warrant for Derleth’s arrest. It is believed that they are heading to West Virginia, where an Amber Alert is in effect.
The three may be travelling in a green, 1997 Mercury Villager minivan with the Illinois plate E833210.
Katherine E. Derleth is described as 4 feet 8 inches tall, 95 pounds, with brown shoulder length hair and brown eyes. She has three birthmarks on her right knee.
Her son, Christopher Ray Derleth, weighs eight pounds, three ounces and has brown hair and dark eyes.
There are several details about this case that police have yet to confirm. They are working on getting the minors to safety and to arrest Christoper Derleth. More information will be posted about this case when those details are revealed.
The family is cooperating, police said.
Madison County Police say that they will send investigators to West Virginia if the individuals are located there.
If you see them or have any information call 911. Police ask that you do not post tips to Facebook. They need relevant tips sent in to authorities.