BENTONVILLE, Ark. (News release) – U.S. Marshals found four missing children (ages ranging from 15 months to 7 years old) on Wednesday, and arrested their mother Lacee Pattengill, 29.
Pattengill was wanted for Interference with Custody – a class C felony – by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.
The children’s paternal grandparents were awarded emergency custody by the State of Arkansas in early August, but Pattengill refused to give the children over to the grandparents. Local authorities soon discovered that Pattengill had fled the area with the children.
On August 22 the investigation, led by the U. S. Marshals Service, centered investigators on an apartment complex in Owasso, Oklahoma. The Northern District of Oklahoma U. S. Marshals Service was contacted and they were able to conduct surveillance at the apartment complex and positively identify the children and Pattengill.
Pattengill was taken into custody by the U. S. Marshals Service and transported to the local county jail for extradition back to Arkansas.
The children were safely turned over to their legal guardians– their paternal grandparents.
The Western Arkansas Fugitive Task Force is led by the U. S. Marshals Service and consists of Deputy US Marshals, Benton County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, Arkansas State Police Investigators, Greenwood Police Department Officers, and Springdale Police Department Officers.
The Western Arkansas Fugitive Task Force seeks out and arrests both federal and state fugitives wanted for violent offenses.