Metro-East News

Madison County teen, infant son safely arrive home to Illinois

A Madison County teen and her newborn baby are back in Illinois, while the man accused of abducting them is still in custody of West Virginia law enforcement.

Capt. Mike Dixon of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department on Monday said 13-year-old Katherine Derleth and her infant son, Christopher Derleth, had been returned to Illinois and were in “state custody.” Dixon said the girl and her baby were in good condition.

Christopher M. Derleth, 39, is being held in South Central Regional Jail in Charleston, West Virginia, on a no-bond warrant. Dixon did not know when Derleth would be extradited to Illinois to face aggravated kidnapping and child abduction charges.

“He’ll get here at some point,” Dixon said, adding that he hoped there would be some movement in Derleth’s case by the end of the week. “He’s not going anywhere.”

Christopher M. Derleth, who is Katherine’s stepfather, was captured around midday on Saturday on what Dixon called private property in a rural, mountainous range in Kanawha County, West Virginia, with a permanent campsite where they had been hiding. Katherine and her son, who was born on Sept. 1, were safely rescued, bringing and end to a week-long ordeal that saw them taken from a foster home where they were living. Police believed Derleth had removed them and fled with both children.

A restraining order had been issued against Christopher Derleth in Bond County, keeping him away from Katherine. Katherine was living with guardians under the protection of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services when Derleth allegedly kidnapped her.

Don O'Brien: 618-239-2626, @DOBrienBND