News Banner

For Immediate Release

April 22, 2009 Western District of Arkansas
Johnny Larkin, Inspector & Public Affairs Officer (479) 783-5215;
USMS Headquarters Public Affairs (202) 307-9065
Donna Hanna Arrested in Family Abduction Case Following
Exhaustive Law Enforcement Efforts
Fayetteville, AR - The U.S. Marshals Service and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office announce the arrest of Donna Wilson Hanna, age 47. Hanna was arrested on federal charges of Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution, which is directly associated with Hanna’s State charges of Interference with Custody, a class D Felony in Arkansas. At the time of arrest, Hanna’s daughter, Brooke Hanna, was placed in the custody of a court appointed attorney. Hanna had been on the run since March 29, 2009, when she fled Arkansas with her daughter.

A state warrant was issued for Hanna’s arrest on March 31, 2009, when Hanna failed to return her daughter, Brooke, to the custodial parent, Burt Hanna. The Washington County prosecutors office subsequently contacted the U. S. Attorney’s Office and requested a federal Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution warrant be prepared for Hanna’s arrest. On April 2, 2009, the U. S. Marshals Service prepared a affidavit and issued a federal arrest warrant for Hanna, who at one time was believed to have fled the country. The U. S Marshals Service, along with the Washington County Sheriff’s office, worked very closely with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in recovery efforts of Brooke Hanna. Brooke and her mother spent spring break in Florida, then returned to Arkansas only briefly on March 29, 2009. Investigators determined Donna Hanna then fled the state on March 29 in a friend’s vehicle with her daughter in violation of a custodial court order.

The U. S. Marshals Service and Washington County tracked Hanna from Arkansas, through Oklahoma and to Newark, New Jersey. The U. S. Marshals Service also forwarded leads to Florida, where Hanna and her daughter spent spring break. According to Deputy U. S. Marshal Dewaine Allen, “significant local and federal resources were expended in an incredible multi-jurisdictional effort to locate and arrest Donna Hanna as well as recover Brooke Hanna so ultimately the state court in Washington County could address the state warrant as well as any custodial issues.”

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office worked tirelessly on the case for weeks, and with the assistance of the U. S. Marshals Service from several districts throughout the country, as well as the local Fayetteville FBI office, the case was brought to a successful conclusion. The U. S. Marshals Service arrested Hanna at the XNA Northwest Regional Airport after she and her daughter flew from the LaGuerdia, New York airport to XNA. Hanna was booked into the Washington County Detention Center, where she awaits a final disposition of her state case.

Every year, the U.S. Marshals and its associated Task Forces throughout the country arrest more fugitives than all federal law enforcement agencies combined. Last year, this number was more than 73,000 state and local fugitives and more than 36,000 federal fugitives.

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