The FBI issued warrants Thursday for a couple who are suspected of kidnapping the woman's 9-month-old son and killing a social worker.
The baby, his mother and her boyfriend were still missing Thursday, three days after the social worker was found dead in the mother's home, leaving police frustrated and with few leads.
Boni Frederick, 67, had taken the boy, who has been in foster care, to his mother's house for a visit Monday. Police found her body after she failed to return to work. Her car also was missing.
The FBI issued warrants for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution
on state kidnapping charges, said Tracy Reinhold, special agent in
charge of the FBI in Kentucky. The warrants were issued by a federal judge early Thursday morning, but Reinhold would not say if investigators knew where the couple was.
"These are desperate people," Reinhold said. An autopsy completed Wednesday found that Frederick died from blunt-force trauma and sharp lacerations, police said. The missing boy was believed to be with his mother, Renee Terrell, 33, and her boyfriend, Christopher Wayne Luttrell, 23.
Sgt. John Nevels, spokesman for the Henderson Police Department, said police had taken numerous calls of possible sightings in places ranging from Louisville to Illinois to Kansas. The most credible report came Wednesday from a truck driver in St. Louis.
"He said he remembered seeing the car and the plate. That was yesterday, about three o'clock yesterday," Nevels said Thursday. Investigators, who are trying to discern a pattern of sightings for Terrell and her boyfriend, have not determined whether any of the hundreds of reports coming in nationwide are credible.
"I mean, we have sightings, wow, everywhere from Florida to Colorado. But there's no way they can be all over the place," Nevels said, expressing frustration.
Luttrell faces burglary charges in Jefferson County and has a warrant for parole violation, police said. Terrell has a history of abuse charges against children, including charges of assault and endangering the welfare of a minor, police said.
The child had been taken from his mother when he was 13 days old because of neglect. A neighbor, Jean Davis, told The Courier-Journal that Terrell learned last Wednesday that Saige would be put up for adoption.
Terrell told friends on Saturday she planned to take the boy and
run away to New Mexico, Davis said. "She loved her baby," Davis told the newspaper in a story published Wednesday. "She talked about how she was going to get her baby and everything back. She was buying clothes. She had a baby bed and a high chair and everything. ... I guess it made her
Investigators have contacted family and friends, who have been "helpful on giving some locations to concentrate on" in their search. The pair were last seen Monday at a gas station off
Interstate 70 in Illinois.
Footage from a surveillance camera near the gas station broadcast on several television stations appeared to depict Luttrell filling the car with gas, but police had not seen the video Wednesday and could not confirm it was Luttrell.
The mother's white-paneled, single-story house was roped off by police tape, and a squad car was parked in front. The FBI and Henderson police were working together on the case. Terrell has family in Louisville; Evansville and Fort Wayne, Ind.; and New York, police said.
Frederick's car was missing, and the dispatcher said Terrell, Luttrell and the boy may be traveling in it. It was described as a 2000 white Daewoo Nubira station wagon with Kentucky license plate 675-DRV.
She was described as white with brown hair and brown eyes,
glasses, 5-foot-5 and 240 pounds. Luttrell was described as white,
blue eyes, 6-2 and 150 pounds with tattoos on his arms.
Saige Terrell is white, brown hair and brown eyes, 27 inches tall and 19 pounds. Police said the boy is developmentally disabled and has a scratch on the right side of his face and a rug burn on the back of his neck.
The purse of 67 year old social worker Boni Frederick was found in a ditch off Interstate 164 near the Burnt Prarie exit. A passerby found it and turned it into police. That`s when they discovered it belonged to the victim who was murdered early Monday morning. Henderson police are on their way to pick the purse up.
Information about the missing boy can be reported to police at (270) 827-8700.
Associated Press Writer Brett Barrouquere in Louisville, Ky.,
contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)