Three people are suspected of kidnapping two children from their custodial guardian, Montrose Police Department officials said.
Christina A. Steele, 36, and Lloyd D. Williams, 43, are suspected of taking the children to Olathe, while Christina L. Martinez, 32, is suspected of acting to facilitate Steele and Williams’ alleged conduct.
All three were arrested Thursday night on suspicion of second-degree kidnapping. Martinez was additionally accused of obstructing an officer.
Formal charges are pending.
Police were initially called out to Apollo Road to check on the welfare of two minors, ages 10 and 14. A woman there told officers she was unable to locate her stepchildren after having earlier allowed their biological mother, Steele, as well as Williams, to visit with them.
The children had previously left their residence on Maya Way with Steele and Williams to go to a park, but when they did not return in a reasonable amount of time, and she could not locate them, their stepmother called police.
Montrose Police Cmdr. Matt Smith said the stepmother has full legal custody of the children.
Officers determined Steele and Williams were transient and did not appear to have a vehicle, or phones. Further, Steele had multiple arrest warrants, which Smith called “obviously concerning.”
Investigators sent information about the two and the children to regional law enforcement agencies and launched a search, eventually developing leads that pointed to Olathe.
Olathe Police Department officers followed the tips and located the children, who were found unharmed with Steele and Williams, Smith said.
The investigation also pointed to Martinez having aided the pair, he said, but did not provide additional details. Arrest affidavits were not immediately available on Friday.
The children were returned safe to their stepmother, Smith said, thanking OPD as well as the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office for assisting in the case.
“Everyone was taken into custody without incident; the kids are safe and officers are safe,” he said.
Steele appeared in court Friday, when her bail was set at $20,000. According to jail records that afternoon, remained in custody. Formal charges are to be filed by July 9, when Steele is scheduled to return to court for a bond hearing.
Williams is also set for July 9. He remained in custody Friday afternoon, in lieu of a $750 bond, according to jail records.
Martinez was set for a July 30 appearance. Her bond was set at $750, which had not been posted as of Friday afternoon, again per jail records.