UNION COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - An Anna woman accused of kidnapping a newborn baby was in court Tuesday for a pre-trial.
Karen Sue Nichols is charged with aggravated kidnapping, armed robbery, and aggravated unlawful restraint.
According to Union County State's Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds, Karen Sue Nichols (a.k.a.) Karen S. Casper, 44, of rural Anna was arrested by Union County deputies in connection to a kidnapping investigation.
The newborn child was reported kidnapped in rural Union County sometime on the evening of June 28, 2013, according to the state's attorney.
Edmonds says the child was taken into protective custody at the time of the arrest and was reunited with his mother.
Nichols is accused of claiming she was a part of an organization that helps young mothers. The baby's great-grandfather, Bill McHughs, says Nichols told the baby's mother she would take her shopping for items for the baby. McHughs says the mother and Nichols met in Johnston City where the mother and the child got in the car with Nichols. McHughs says Nichols drove the car around for several hours before stopping just outside Cobden.
"She pulled off the side of the road, pointed a gun at her and a knife and said, 'Get out of the car or I'll kill you and the baby,' took Lindsey, and some kind of scarf," McHughs said. "She tied Lindsey's hands behind her back, took her out into the field, taped her ankles together and put tape over her mouth and told her if she tried to get away too soon she'd kill the baby."McHughs says Nichols took the baby back to her home in rural Anna while the baby's mother managed to untie herself and run for help.
According to the Union County Sheriff's Department, deputies arrested Nichols at her home on Hughey Lane and returned the baby to his mother the same evening.
A jury trial is scheduled for Nov. 12, 2013 at 9 a.m. in front of Judge Boie at the Union County courthouse.
Lindsey McHughs, the mother of the baby, says she and her and her 4-month-old son Bentley are doing fine.
"I am doing good and so is Bentley," McHughs said. "I don't let my boy out of my sight and I don't let anyone hold him if I don't know them. He is with me 24/7. I don't let anyone watch him."