Stepfather charged in case of missing 13-year-old and her 2-week-old son

Police believe the teen and her baby are in real and significant danger.

EDWARDSVILLE, ILL. - Police are asking everyone to be on the lookout for a missing teenager, her newborn son, and the person accused of kidnapping them.

Officials from the Madison County Sheriff's Office say, although there was a confirmed sighting of the getaway van in West Virginia on Sunday, 39-year-old Christopher Derleth, his stepdaughter Katherine Derleth, and her baby, who is also named Christopher, could be anywhere in the country at this point.

There is an AMBER Alert in effect in West Virginia. It was issued Sunday afternoon after the van, a green 1997 Mercury Villager, was spotted south of Charleston. Police say they are working to validate other reports but so far, that was the only credible sighting.

Katherine and her son went missing from a home north of Edwardsville Sunday morning. Officials aren't saying what promoted the kidnapping, but they do say it was planned. Christopher Derleth had previously been ordered not to contact his stepdaughter. He now faces kidnapping and child abduction charges.

Katherine has a heart condition and had a pacemaker implanted at birth. The equipment needed to insure that the pacemaker is properly working was left behind, police said. 

She was also recovering after a cesarean section during child birth and was supposed to be under a doctor's care. 




"Based on that court order, he's not supposed to be in contact with her," Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons said. "He's not allowed to have her in his custody and he is not allowed, certainly, to be removing her from the jurisdiction."

Five On Your Side has learned the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services(DCFS) recently removed Katherine from a home in Bond County. She and her son were then placed with a foster family.

This came after a 2016 investigation that resulted in a restraining order against Christopher Derleth for Katherine. He was to have no contact with the 13-year-old.

Officials say that family was not there at the time of the abduction.

The Illinois DCFS had also investigated in March of 2015 but it was unfounded because there was no credible evidence.

If you see the teen, her baby, or her stepfather, or if you know where they are, call 911.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment