Kimberly Yates (left) and Kelly Yates : Age-progressed photos of from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Two women who disappeared from Rhode Island as children have been discovered more than 31 years later, and their mother has been arrested.
Kimberly and Kelly Yates were 3 years old and 10 months old when they were reported missing by their father Russell in 1985.
The sisters have been located in the Houston area and their non-custodial mother has been charged with snatching them.
Police said Tuesday an anonymous tip two days before Christmas led them to Kimberly and Kelly Yates and their mother, Elaine.
10-month-old Kelly and Kimberly Yates, 3, when they disappeared in 1985
They said the mother had been living in Houston under the name Leina Waldberg. Texas Rangers and Rhode Island State Police arrested Yates at her home Monday without incident.
69-year-old Elaine Yates, who has been wanted on a child-snatching warrant since 1988, is being extradited back to Rhode Island to face two charges of child snatching.
Elaine Yates admitted her true identity after she was found and was arrested by Texas Rangers and Rhode Island State Police at her home Monday without incident.
“I’ve always been trying to find my children. Now at least, it’s up to them to get in touch with me,” Russell Yates, whose contact information has been given to the women, said Tuesday.
Asked about charges against his ex-wife, he told WCVB, “That ain’t gonna help her, me or anybody else at this point.”
Rhode Island police, who have worked on the case for years, said that they received an anonymous tip last month that led them to Houston.
Elaine Yates is expected to be arraigned Wednesday morning after being brought back to the East Coast.
According to the Providence Journal Elaine Yates vanished with her children after she found her husband with another woman and he hit her.
In 1990 Elaine Yates’ mother, Mary Pigeon, was ordered by a judge to reveal where her daughter and children went, but she refused and was sentenced to live in a correctional facility while working outside. She died in 2000.