UPDATE: Joshua Bates pleaded guilty to interference with custody. He was sentenced to a 1 year and will serve the time on home detention. The kidnapping charge was dismissed.
MADISON COUNTY, Ind. — A couple from Madison County is awaiting extradition from Pennsylvania while facing preliminary charges for allegedly kidnapping a 7-year-old girl.
According to the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, the child’s legal guardian called police after she found the girl missing from her bedroom Sunday morning.
Police said the guardian noticed a window unlocked in the child’s room as well as missing blankets.
An investigation lead police to believe that the suspect was possibly the girl’s mother who may have been with her boyfriend, a registered sex offender.
Officers also believed that the couple were traveling with the girl in the Ohio or Pennsylvania area.
Police used a cell phone signal to indicate that the suspects were possibly driving on Interstate I-70 in eastern Ohio, and alerts were sent to Ohio and Pennsylvania State Police.
Pennsylvania State Police located the suspected vehicle just after 1 p.m. on I-70, and took the suspects into custody without incident.
Courtney Elizabeth Wells, 28, and Joshua Allen Bates, 26, face preliminary charges of felony kidnapping and will be extradited back to Indiana as soon as possible, according to police.
With the assistance of Indiana State Police, 7-year-old was flown back to Madison County around 10:45 p.m. SUnday.
Police said the investigation is ongoing.