Crime

Stepdad accused of kidnapping is back in Madison County

Police start national manhunt after 13-year-old, infant son kidnapped

September 2016 file video: Kidnapping charges were filed and a national manhunt started after Katherine Derleth, 13, and her infant son, Christopher Ray Derleth, were kidnapped, Madison County Sheriff's investigators and prosecutors said.
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September 2016 file video: Kidnapping charges were filed and a national manhunt started after Katherine Derleth, 13, and her infant son, Christopher Ray Derleth, were kidnapped, Madison County Sheriff's investigators and prosecutors said.

The man accused of kidnapping his 13-year-old stepdaughter and her newborn is now back in Illinois in a Madison County Jail cell.

Christopher Derleth, 39, has been extradited back to Madison County after he was arrested in West Virginia. Last week he waived his right to fight extradition back to Illinois in Kanawha County Court.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Department confirmed Wednesday that Derleth is in their custody at the Madison County Jail, pending trial.

Katherine Derleth and her baby son, Christopher, were taken from a foster home in rural Madison County on Sept. 17. Madison County soon charged Christopher Derleth, Katherine’s stepfather, with aggravated kidnapping and child abduction. Derleth had been under a restraining order to keep away from Katherine and her baby at the time, amid a Bond County investigation into baby Christopher’s paternity.

Christopher Derleth, Katherine Derleth and the baby were located at a remote campground in West Virginia a week later. Katherine and baby Christopher were found to be in good condition and were returned to the metro-east.

The charge of aggravated kidnapping describes Katherine as suffering from “severe or profound intellectual disability.” According to law enforcement officials, a paternity test to determine the identity of the baby’s father is under way.

If the test shows that Derleth is the father, he could be charged with aggravated sexual assault of a minor, a Class X felony in Illinois. That investigation is continuing in Bond County.

In this September 2016 video, Jennifer Derleth, the mother of the Madison County teen who was kidnapped with her newborn son, waits for her daughter to call her once her plane lands in St. Louis. Katherine Derleth, 13, and her infant son, Christop

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald

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