69-year-old fugitive Elaine C. Yates has been brought to justice after she fled her home and her husband in Rhode Island more than 30 years ago. Russell and Elaine Yates were high school sweethearts and had been married for 19 years. On August 26th, 1985, however, the woman abandoned her husband and took their two daughters with her after Russell allegedly hit her during a heated argument over his infidelities.
For the next 30 years of her life, elaine Yates had worked as an assistant vice president at GC services, an IT company, under the name of Liana Lynn Waldberg. She managed to legally change her name in 2009. Even though a warrant for her arrest had been in effect since November 16th, 1988, it did not come up in her 2009 background check when a Harris County District Court allowed her to change her name.
Moreover, she also petitioned to change both her daughters’ name. Kimberly and Kelly Yates were renamed Melissa and Sarah Waldberg.
When authorities questioned the fugitive’s mother about her daughter’s and granddaughters’ whereabouts, Mary Pigeon concealed vital information from the law enforcement officers. Subsequently, she was sent to the Adult Correctional Institutions where she spent a few days incarcerated but did not divulge any information. She later died in 2000.
While Russell’s fugitive wife and his two daughters were starting life all over again, the man was continuously looking for them, unsure if the girls even knew they had a father. Over the years, police officers received multiple tips on the women’s location, but it wasn’t until last year that somebody pointed them on the right track. A joint team of investigators from Texas and Rhode Island state police arrested Elaine Yates at her home in Houston on Monday, January 16th.
When Russell yates received the news, he admitted he was stunned having lost all hope to ever find his daughters. Kimberly and Kelly are now 30-year-old mothers and wives with families of their own. The father now waits patiently and hopes his long-lost daughters will want to get in touch with him and reconnect after all the years they spent apart.
Rhode Island police officials have charged Elaine Yates with two counts of child snatching. Her arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday, January 18th.
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