Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announced today that a District Court Judge has signed a warrant for the arrest of Samantha C. Elmer, 33, on two counts of aggravated interference with parental custody. It is believed Ms. Elmer fled the United States with her two daughters and we are seeking international assistance in safely locating and returning Ms. Elmer and her daughters.
On Thursday, October 29 shortly after 12:00 p.m., an officer with the Lawrence Police Department (LPD) went to a Lawrence area home in reference to a child welfare check. The children’s father contacted LPD and advised he had not heard from his children (ages 11 and 9) or his ex-wife in a while. He went on to say that the children had missed six days of school and Ms. Elmer had told the school that the children had mono. The father said he carried health insurance on the children and he knew that no medical attention had been sought for them. He also stated Ms. Elmer was due the next day in Johnson County District Court for a felony theft case and Monday for an emergency custody hearing.
Through investigation completed by LPD, they learned a rental car had been dropped off at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. It was also discovered that the defendant and the two children boarded a Turkish Airline flight to Vienna, Austria via Istanbul, Turkey. It is unknown at this time where they may have ultimately traveled to.
Anyone with information on Ms. Elmer and/or the children’s whereabouts is asked to call the Lawrence Police Department at 785-832-7509 or 9-1-1.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The charges merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.