Two Madison County minors have been returned to the area and are in state custody after they were allegedly kidnapped by the step-father of one of the children last week. 39 year old Christopher Derleth remains in custody in West Virginia on a $2-million bond after authorities found the group in a rural wooded area on Saturday.
Authorities say 13 year old Katherine Derleth and her infant son were returned to Madison County over the weekend and are under the care of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. The teen and her child were staying with guardians when they were allegedly kidnapped from a home near Carpenter on September 18. Police followed a trail of clues to West Virginia where the elder Derleth was spotted on video while traveling through a toll booth, used a credit card, and was spotted in a rural, mountainous area by local residents who called authorities. U.S. Marshals discovered a campsite where he was keeping the children, and the vehicle police were looking for had been partially concealed in the woods. Derleth was arrested without incident and the victims were reported to be in good condition.