MOSES LAKE, Wash. - U.S. Marshals and Grant County Sheriff's deputies are searching for a kidnapping suspect and a 6-year-old girl.
Authorities say Shirley Jackson, 57, kidnapped Angel Jackson, no relation. Shirley, who lives in Waterville, has family in Oklahoma, but it's not certain that she was headed there with the child.
Shirley had been Angel's non-custodial caregiver the majority of Angel's life.
On May 13, Angel's guardian was awarded custody of Angel. Instead of turning Angel over to her guardian, Shirley left with the child.
The Grant County Sheriff's Office said Angel's legal guardian did attempt to find the girl and Shirley without success. At the time, the legal guardian sought help from other agencies to find Angel. The sheriff's office said the issue was handled as a civil custodial interference, which under the circumstances was appropriate.
It wasn't until June that the Grant County Sheriff's Office was notified and became involved. They say the case was handled appropriately as a missing person case.
"Early in our investigation, there was no obvious or assumed risk to Angel's safety. It wasn't until later in the investigation that it was learned that Shirley Jackson's history may constitute a risk to Angel," the Grant County Sheriff's Office said in a statement to KXLY.
Shirley is a convicted felon, so deputies and U.S. Marshals are concerned for the girl's safety. Shirley has a history of complaints investigated by Child Protective Services. None of the complaints involved Angel.
There is a warrant out for Shirley's arrest on a charge of first degree kidnapping.
The sheriff's office asks the public to spare Angel's legal guardian any undue judgment or comments as she has done everything in her power to handle this situation in a legal and caring way with all intentions focused on the welfare of Angel.
If you have information, contact Grant County Sheriff's Office at 509-762-1160 or send information to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can remain anonymous.