Two women charged in abduction
Houston County Courier - January 2010
By Daphne Hereford
CROCKETT – Two local women were the subject of a two-sate manhunt that began with a phone call to law enforcement in the early morning hours of Sunday, Jan. 3.
As of press time Wednesday, Ms. Hallmark and Ms. Bailey were awaiting an extradition hearing before being brought back to the Houston County Sheriff’s Office Jail.
According to reports, the Houston County Sheriff’s Office received a call at about 5;30 a.m. from a residence on US 287 north in Grapeland reporting child abduction.
The caller, a family member, reported that three children, ages six, five and two, had been placed in the custody of Sylvia Radar by Child Protective Services on a temporary guardianship order issued by the district court in Houston County.
According to a television news report, CPS removed the children from their mother’s custody following a felony drug charge last month.
The caller told authorities that 21-year-old Jamie Hallmark, the children’s mother, and 48-year-old Amanda Bailey, the children’s grandmother, had taken a 1996 Honda mini-van belonging to a family member and left with the children.
Sheriff’s deputies immediately began an investigation and information was received that they were possibly heading to McAlester, Okla.
Warrants were obtained for unauthorized use of a vehicle, and interfering with child custody. A regional Amber Alert was broadcast and the U.S. Marshals were contacted.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children also became involved in the case.
According to information obtained in a telephone interview with James Watson, the children’s great uncle, once in Oklahoma, Ms. Bailey reportedly contacted her father in McAlester and asked for directions to his home.
At 9:37 p.m. that evening, the sheriff’s office received a call with a possible location of the children.
Law enforcement in Oklahoma was contacted and given that information.
They responded, along with CPS, and the children were located and Ms. Hallmark and Ms. Bailey were arrested without incident.
The children were brought back to Texas and placed with family.