Mom flees with 6-year-old girl during court-supervised visit, police say

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Wendy Jarvis, 41 (left) and Zoe Stegmeyer, 6 (right).
images-Oak Park Police Department

OAK PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- Police in suburban Oak Park have issued a national plea for help locating a 6-year-old girl who was taken by her mother from a restaurant during a court-supervised visit.

Wendy Jarvis, 41, fled with her daughter, Zoe Stegmeyer, through the back door of an Oak Park restaurant around 11:15 a.m. on Saturday, December 16, according to Oak Park police.

The court visitation supervisor told police that Jarvis said she was taking her daughter to the restroom, but instead took her daughter out through a rear door from the restaurant kitchen. The supervisor said she attempted to follow them, but lost sight of the pair in the vicinity of Pleasant and Marion Streets in Oak Park.

The missing child has blonde, shoulder-length hair and was last seen wearing a black quilted jacket, a black shirt with a heart on the front, black leggings, black boots and pink gloves. Police said she is 3'4" tall and weighs around 45 pounds.

Police said Jarvis, of Oak Park, is involved in a custody battle with the child's father. Jarvis has brown hair and hazel eyes and was last seen wearing a gray, three-quarter length pea coat, a green sweatshirt and a black knit cap. She is 5'2" tall and around 144 pounds.

Investigators have conducted an extensive search of the area, including Jarvis' home, but turned up no clues as to their whereabouts.

Police said Jarvis' parents live in Clarkston, Michigan, about 42 miles northwest of Detroit. Jarvis was not known to have access to a vehicle.

Police said the circumstances of the parental abduction did not meet the criteria for an AMBER Alert, but anyone with information is urged to call the Oak Park Police Department at 708.386.3800. Information may be provided anonymously by calling 708.434.1636 or online at