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For Immediate Release

April 11, 2009 Western District of Arkansas
Johnny Larkin, Inspector & Public Affairs Officer (479) 783-5215;
USMS Headquarters Public Affairs (202) 307-9065
U. S. Marshals Apprehend Child Abductor After Two Years on the Run
Fort Smith, AR - A major fugitive wanted on outstanding state charges for Child Abduction has been arrested by a team of law enforcement officers led by U.S. Marshals in Kansas City, Missouri. Kathleen Mitchell was being sought on warrants issued in Crawford County, Arkansas charging her with Failure to Appear and a Body Attachment Order. In August of 2007, Mitchell was granted her first non-supervised weekend visit with her two children Juanita (7 yrs. old.) and Nashton (15 yrs. old.) since they were placed into the custody of the State of Arkansas in June of 2006. At that time, Mitchell abducted the two children and left the area with the children and has been on the run since that time. The abducting received attention by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and they were placed on their national website.

In December of 2008, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) contacted the U. S. Marshals Service (USMS) to assist in locating Nashton and Juanita through Operation Pickup. Operation Pickup is a joint USMS/NCMEC initiative targeting missing child cases when a felony warrant is outstanding for the abductor or companion of an abducted, missing, or endangered child. At that time, the River Valley Fugitive Task Force in Fort Smith adopted the state warrants issued by Crawford County for Mitchell and the U. S. Marshals Service began looking for her and the children.

On Friday, April 10th, 2009, leads were developed by the U. S. Marshals in Fort Smith that Mitchell may be staying at an apartment complex in Kansas City, Missouri. The U. S. Marshals Office in Kansas City was contacted in regards to the possible lead. Thanks to the swift response and investigative efforts of the Kansas City U. S. Marshals Service, Kathleen Mitchell was arrested and Juanita and Nashton were taken into protective custody and placed with local family services. Kathleen is currently being held in Kansas City, Missouri pending extradition back to Crawford County, Arkansas.

Annually, investigations carried out by the U.S. Marshals result in the apprehension of approximately 36,000 federal fugitives. More federal fugitives are arrested by Marshals than all other federal agencies combined.

The River Valley Fugitive Task Force is a team comprised of law enforcement officers from Sebastian County Sheriff, Crawford County Sheriff, Alma Police Department, Arkansas Department of Community Correction, Van Buren Police Department, and the U. S. Marshals Service. The task force objective is to seek out and arrest sex offenders and violent felon fugitives. Last year, U.S. Marshals task forces arrested more than 73,000 state and local fugitives on felony charges.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals can be found at