EAST ST. LOUIS, Illinois – Murder warrants were issued for a couple accused of kidnapping the woman's 9-month-old son from a social worker who was later found dead, authorities said.
Renee Terrell and her boyfriend, Christopher Wayne Luttrell, were charged Friday with fleeing Kentucky to avoid prosecution, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 (euro198,000).
Terrell and Luttrell are also suspects in the death of social worker Boni Frederick, 67, said Henderson, Kentucky, police Sgt. John Nevels. They will be formally charged with murder after being returned to Kentucky, Nevels said.
At an extradition hearing Friday on the kidnapping charges, they waived their right to a second hearing that would have determined whether federal bond was set. They will likely be moved to Kentucky next week, said Ron Adams, a police detective in Henderson.
They are accused of kidnapping Terrell's infant son,Saige, on Monday from Frederick, who had taken the boy to Terrell's home in Henderson for a visit.
The baby had been removed from Terrell's custody when he was 13 days old because of neglect, police said.
Frederick was found beaten to death at the house later that day, and the baby, his mother and Frederick's station wagon were gone, authorities said.
Terrell, 33, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald Wilkerson at the hearing that she was a widow and high school graduate who attended four years of college. Luttrell, 23, who choked back tears moments after being led into court in leg and arm shackles, said he had a high school equivalency diploma and could read "a little."
A call seeking comment from the couple's attorney at the extradition hearing, Julie Morian, wasn't immediately returned.
FBI agents arrested the couple on Thursday near Godfrey, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of St. Louis, FBI agent John Stafford said at a news conference Thursday at the Alton Law Enforcement Center, where the two were being held.
Nevels said they were caught hiding in a camper where they had sought shelter after their car apparently broke down and got stuck in mud.
The child has been returned to his foster parents in Union County, Kentucky, his foster mother, Jennifer Snyder, told the Henderson Gleaner.
A neighbor, Jean Davis, has said Terrell learned last week that the boy was to be put up for adoption. On Saturday, Davis said, Terrell told friends she planned to take the boy and run away to New Mexico, Davis said.