EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. --An Illinois man suspected of kidnapping his stepdaughter and her baby is believed to be taking them to West Virginia, KTVI reports.
Investigators in Madison County, Ill., said the family went missing from their home Saturday. Police believe Christopher Derleth abducted his 13-year-old stepdaughter Katherine and her infant son. The baby, Chrisopher Ray Derleth, is less than 3 weeks old.
Derleth has been charged with aggravated kidnapping and officials believe the victims may be in danger.
"This is a case where we have a grave concern for the well-being for these two young people and these charges allow us the opportunity to issue a nationwide warrant for the arrest of Christopher Derleth and we hope that the authorities will be able to apprehend him quickly and bring these two young people safely into a protective custody, so they can be returned to the area," said Tom Gibbons, Madison County State's Attorney.
"What we're truly looking at here is that a 19-day-old child needs medical care that I don't think that a 13-year-old is prepared to deliver. I think we also have to look at the situation that a 13-year-old young lady delivered this child 19 days ago and she may need some sort of medical care as well," said Madison County Sheriff John Lakin.
Investigators won't say who the baby's father may be, and have issued an Amber Alert in West Virginia.
The suspect may be driving a 1997 green Mercury Villager Minivan with Illinois license plates.