A 32-year-old Missouri woman was in the Tarrant County Jail on Tuesday night, accused of traveling to Texas with a 16-year-old runaway and having sex with him.
Katrina Louise Childress of Fredericktown, Mo., was arrested Saturday by Bedford police, who had been checking vehicle registrations at America's Best Value Inn, 2501 Airport Freeway. Officers learned that Missouri authorities were looking for one of the vehicles in connection with a runaway, police Lt. Kirk Roberts said Tuesday.
Childress arrived in Texas last week with her children, ages 7 and 11, and the teen, he said.
Childress and the teen live about 30 miles apart in eastern Missouri south of St. Louis. She told investigators that she met him several months ago when he texted her.
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"It was by accident that he had texted her," Roberts said. "But they continued to communicate."
The teen's family reported him as a runaway Jan. 3, according to the St. Francois County, Mo., Sheriff's Department.
"The boy's grandfather didn't know the woman's name, but he knew what she looked like," sheriff's Sgt. Randy Tate said.
"It took us a while to get her name, but one of our officers did a great job in finding out who she was."
The teenager was turned over to Tarrant County juvenile authorities, and Childress' children are in the custody of Child Protective Services, Roberts said.
The teen was to be returned to Missouri on Tuesday.
Childress' bail totals $65,000. She faces Texas charges of sexual assault of a child, unlawful restraint and endangering a child, according to the jail website.
A Missouri child-endangerment warrant has been issued for Childress, authorities said.
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