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  Illinois State Police News Release   

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Illinois State Police Safely Locate 8 Month Old Infant in Jefferson County

ISP Seal
Press Release Date: October 24, 2014    || Archived February 5, 2016

Three Suspects Taken into Custody in Connection with Child Abduction

JEFFERSON COUNTY, IL – Illinois State Police (ISP) officers have safely located an abducted eight month old infant in Jefferson County today.  

The infant, identified as Samiyah Nichols, was initially reported as being abducted by three subjects in Memphis, Tennessee at approximately 4:15 a.m. on Friday, October 24.  The ISP was later contacted by Missouri Highway Patrol (MHP) who believed the suspects were traveling in a 2005 Ford and may have entered Illinois state lines at approximately 8:00 a.m.  Illinois State Police officers and investigators immediately saturated Interstate 57 in search of the suspected vehicle. 

Intelligence was developed by the ISP Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center (STIC) suggesting the suspects were traveling in a 2005 Ford 4-door vehicle, owned by a relative.  At approximately 9:15 a.m., an ISP trooper located the vehicle near milepost 103, and with the assistance of other agencies, including deputies from the Jefferson County and Marion County Sheriff’s Departments, the 2005 Ford was stopped near milepost 106 without incident and the infant was safely recovered unharmed.  The infant was immediately transported to an area hospital for further evaluation.

Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau praised the quick thinking and fast response of the ISP troopers and other agencies involved.  “An infant child was placed in harm’s way and law enforcement wasted no time in apprehending these dangerous and careless individuals,” Grau said.

Three suspects were taken into custody and have been identified as Brandon M. Wright, 28, Homewood, IL; Betty Jo Mitchell, 27, Muncie, IN; Samuel Nichols, 29, Chicago.  Samuel Nichols is believed to be the biological father.  Wright and Mitchell have been released and Nichols remains in custody on an unrelated warrant.  Formal charges are pending for all three subjects.

Samiyah Nichols was released from an area hospital in good condition and remains in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services.

The collaborative effort that lead to the arrest of the three subjects and safe recovery of the child included officers from ISP Zone 7, District 12, District 13, District 22, Air Operations, STIC; Illinois Secretary of State Police; Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department; Marion County Sheriff’s Department; Missouri Highway Patrol; Memphis, Tennessee Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

 District 13 Trooper who located the 2005 Ford




I-57, Milepost 106, Jefferson County



The public is reminded that all persons are presumed innocent until the charges are proven in a court of law.

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