Police: Mother abducts 10-year-old girl, Kennett Police searching

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Police in four states, local authorities and the FBI are searching for her.  Since her disappearance her father Donald Cross has been searching for his daughter, passing her photograph around town and waiting for her safe return.

"I hope they call me shortly telling me they have her so I can go get her," said Donald Cross.

Cross said he reported Miranda missing after her mother Violet Martindale, her non-custodial parent, took her away.

"The daughter was only supposed to stay with her a short period of time and told us that she was gone that she had fled," said Lt. Tim Trowbridge of the Kennett Police Department.

He said authorities didn't help right away in the search for Miranda.

"She lives with me and it states that in it.  They still wouldn't do anything until the warrant was issued," said Cross.

Lt. Trowbridge said there are multiple agencies across four states searching for the pair.

"When a child is involved it takes priority for us.  Our number one concern is the safety of the child," said Cross.

Martindale is believed to be on the way to Washington or Oregon where she has relatives.

"We tracked her down where she had car trouble in Superior, Montana.  Her car broke down and she had spent the night," said Trowbridge.

On Monday, police talked to Martindale on her cell phone.

"The manager stated that she was not there, that she didn't see her.  We also had law enforcement there working their way to her.  She was not there.  She was lying to us," said Trowbridge.

Prosecuting Attorney Steven Sokoloff said kidnapping cases like this one are not uncommon.

"Better than 95% of the cases we have are a parent or at least a family member," said Sokoloff.

And in this case police believe Martindale is working hard to not be found.

"It was obvious when we were asking her where she was at, where she was staying she would hesitate before she would say anything which makes you believe she was trying to make up a story," said Trowbridge.

Cross said Martindale took their daughter once before.  Miranda was gone from the time she was three years old until she was seven.

"It took four years, two judges, two lawyers and two states to get her back," said Cross.

Police are searching for Martindale in Montana, Oregon, and Washington.  They aren't sure if she is traveling alone with her daughter or if they have another passenger.  Police do believe she is getting help from someone.

If you have any information in this case, you are urged to contact the Kennett Police Department at 573-888-4622.

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