Two children who were reportedly kidnapped in Missouri nearly a year ago have been found safe in Florida.
Last Wednesday, police officers patrolling High Springs, Florida, near Gainesville, ran "a routine vehicle tag check" on a car in the parking lot of a Winn Dixie grocery store. The tag check revealed that the vehicle's owner, 36-year-old Kristi Nicole Gilley, was wanted by police in Liberty, Missouri, for allegedly kidnapping her two children.
When the officers located Gilley, they allegedly found her shopping with the two missing children, 11-year-old Brooke Gilley and 12-year-old Adrian Gilley. All three of them were "disguising their identities," a report from High Springs PD stated.
According to reports, Brooke and Adrian were last seen on March 15, 2022, which is believed to have been Adrian's 12th birthday. An arrest warrant for kidnapping was issued for Gilley, described as the children's "non-custodial mother," about four months later. Officials initially suspected that Gilley had taken them to California, though whether she has been to California in the last year is unknown.
Gilley was arrested on Thursday and placed in custody at the Alachua County detention center, but she is expected to be extradited back to Clay County, Missouri, sometime soon. The children were placed temporarily in the care of the Florida Department of Children and Families Services and "will be reunited with their birth family," High Springs police stated.
Details regarding this case remain elusive, however. Gilley is presumed to be the children's biological mother, though the identities of their biological father and the people included in the "birth family" mentioned by High Springs police have not been released. Why Gilley might have lost custody of her biological children is likewise unclear.
Liberty, Missouri, is a northeastern suburb of Kansas City and is approximately 1,100 miles from High Springs, Florida. If convicted of first-degree kidnapping, a class A felony, Gilley faces at least 10 years in prison.
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