Coeur d’Alene, ID (STL.News) Late Tuesday, the Coeur d’Alene Police Department Community Action Team and the U.S. Marshals Greater Idaho Fugitive Task Force arrested a fugitive and rescued a missing child in Coeur d’Alene.
Ronald Whitted, 47, of Fort Worth, Texas, was arrested on charges of interference with child custody – court order. On or around March 17, Whitted allegedly fled the state with his 6-year-old son and was believed to have attempted to flee the country. Authorities also believed the child was in danger. The Hurst Police Department in Hurst, Texas, requested the assistance of the U.S. Marshals North Texas Fugitive Task Force to help locate Whitted and his son. Members of the task force quickly learned Whitted possibly traveled to Idaho and subsequently contacted the U.S. Marshals Greater Idaho Fugitive Task Force for assistance.
After being on the run for almost two weeks, the Greater Idaho Fugitive Task Force, comprised of members of the Community Action Team, tracked Whitted and his son to an apartment in downtown Coeur d’Alene. Task force members safely arrested Whitted late in the evening and safely recovered the missing boy.
U.S. Marshal for the District of Idaho Brent Bunn expressed his appreciation to all the investigators who worked tirelessly on this case to recover the missing child, and thanked them for demonstrating great cooperation.
“The diligence of the Community Action Team significantly contributed to the best outcome in this case,” he said. “Task Force Officers and Deputy U.S. Marshals demonstrated great investigative ability and patience in developing an arrest plan to ensure the safety of the child. That was our priority.”
Nationally, U.S. Marshals-led task forces seek out and arrest fugitives charged with violent crimes, drug offenses, sex offenders and other serious felonies, as well as investigate and recover missing and exploited children.
The U.S. Marshals Service supports the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) mission to protect children from victimization by providing assistance to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Since the U.S. Marshals’ partnership with NCMEC began in 2005, the Marshals have helped recover 1,507 missing children.
The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 enhanced the U.S. Marshals’ authority to assist federal, state and local law enforcement with the recovery of missing, endangered or abducted children, regardless of whether a fugitive or sex offender was involved.
The Marshals established a Missing Child Unit to oversee and manage the implementation of its enhanced authority under the act.
Upon request, the Marshals assist other law enforcement agencies with the recovery of “critically missing children,” who have gone missing under circumstances that indicate an elevated risk to the child.
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