Kidnapped Edwardsville mother and infant found in West Virginia; suspect in custody

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Katherine Elizabeth Derleth, 13, and her infant son, Christopher Ray Derleth

Katherine Elizabeth Derleth, 13, and her infant son, Christopher Ray Derleth

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill – Police say that a teen mom and her infant son have been found in rural West Virginia.

Katherine Derleth and the infant child Christopher R Derleth have been located. They are in law enforcements custody at this time. They were located in a rural mountain area of West Virginia. Christopher M. Derleth is also in custody.

Investigators in southern Illinois say they are concerned about health of a teenage girl and her newborn son who they believe were kidnapped by her stepfather.


Madison County Sheriff John Lakin on Thursday said 13-year-old Katherine Elizabeth Derleth of Carpenter has a congenital heart defect and a pacemaker. She was still under a doctor’s care after having a cesarean section delivery. Equipment to monitor the pacemaker was left behind when she went missing last weekend from a foster home in Madison County

Authorities on Monday filed kidnapping charges against the stepfather, 39-year-old Christopher M. Derleth of Granite City and were searching for the three. He had been previously ordered not to contact her.

Derleth’s green 1997 Mercury Villager van was spotted on Interstate 77 in West Virginia last week.  Authorities tell the Metro News that Derleth is an avid camper. He may have stopped at a rural campground.

Derleth has been charged with aggravated kidnapping, a Class X felony, for allegedly taking the baby out of the state of Illinois.

The three went missing last Sunday morning from a home near Pocahontas, IL.

Information from: Belleville News-Democrat


FOX 2 will provide updates on this story as it develops.

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