Latest News

Sisters Who Vanished 31 Years Ago Have Been Found Alive

Their mother has been arrested
Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Another child abduction case in the US has miraculously been solved this week, this time two sisters who went missing 31 years ago have been found alive and their mother taken into custody.

Rhode Island police located Kimberly and Kelly Yates, now 35, along with their mother Elaine Yates, now all living in Houston, Texas, after an anonymous tip two days before Christmas.

Yates, who had been living under the name Leina Waldberg, was arrested without incident and faces arraignment Wednesday in Rhode Island on a fugitive charge.

OPINION: Is Jail Is Too Harsh For Woman Who Kidnapped Baby 18 Years Ago?

Kimberley was three and Kelly just 10-months-old when they disappeared, reported missing by their father Russell Yates on August 27, 1985.

Mr Yates was told of the arrest by police soon after and is said to be “relieved”.

“I’ve always been trying to find my children. And now at least it’s up to them to get in touch with me,” he told WCVB.

“What happens with my ex-wife, I really feel bad about. But we gotta find out what’s going on,” he said, adding that he didn’t want to see her prosecuted.

“That ain’t going to help her, me or anybody else at this point. I just want to see my kids.”

RELATED: Girl Who Was Abducted As A Newborn 18 Years Ago Reunites With Birth Parents

The case had captivated the US for many years, even featuring on television show America’s Most Wanted.

In 1988 Mr Yates told The Providence Journal that his wife had discovered he had been unfaithful and had threatened to move out with the children. He also admitted to hitting her during an argument a few weeks before the disappearance.  

Police are yet to provide details on the trio’s whereabouts for the last 31 years beyond Ms Yates’ pseudonym.

It remains unclear whether or not the girls knew they had been taken.

She is now facing two counts of child snatching and a sentence of up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

Related stories