The mother of two boys abducted in Dent County from their father was formally charged Friday in Meade County, Kan., with two counts of a felony charge of aggravated interference with parental custody.
In her appearance Friday in Meade County District Court, Jetta Midyett, 32, formerly of Lenox, also known as Rachel Ellis, asked for a court-appointed attorney and one was appointed. She did not enter a plea.
The court set bail at $100,000 and placed several other conditions on her release, but Midyett must remain in jail pending extradition on child abduction warrants issued by Dent County, Mo,, authorities, Meade County Sheriff Mark Miller told the Daily News Friday afternoon.
Her two sons, Oliver, 7, and Wilman, 10, were released to their father, Jason Midyett, by Meade County authorities on Aug. 23, the day they and their mother were found in Meade, Kan. Midyett's companion, Roy Neal Ellis, 44, was also charged Friday with a felony count of aggravated interference with parental custody and a felony count of obstructing apprehension or prosecution.
In his court appearance Friday, Ellis said he would retain private counsel. He did not enter a plea.
The court set bail at $10,000 with other conditions. Sheriff Miller said Ellis was later released from jail after posting a bond.
Preliminary hearings for both Midyett and Ellis have been set for 10 a.m. Sept. 10.
Both of the defendants have been ordered not to leave the state of Kansas. The court also ordered that they may have contact with their son, Royal Ellis, approximately 7 months, only with supervised contact through St. Francis Community Services, a Kansas children and family social services provider. They are prohibited from possessing illegal drugs and are subject to random testing. They may not have contact with each other.
Jetta Niehouse Midyett and her sons have been missing since 2009. At that time they were living in Dent County and Jetta and her then-husband Jason Midyett, who were in a bitter divorce and custody battle in which Jetta had accused the boys' father, Jason Midyett, of abuse.
The court did not find evidence of that allegation, and Jason Midyett was later awarded custody of both boys while Jetta Midyett was given visitation rights in the divorce decree. She was ordered by the court to turn the children over to her ex-husband in late May 2009 at the Dent County Courthouse.
She did not show up, and Jason Midyett began a national search for her and his sons, working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Kansas Sheriff Miller takes up the story:
"On August 23rd, 2012 about 10:04, I received a call from an anonymous source. I went to their residences to find out what they needed. They handed me a copy of a Family Abduction from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children web site on Jetta Midyett and two abducted boys, Oliver and Wilman Midyett. The subject told me that Jetta and the boys were at 414 N. Meade Center with Neal Ellis. There was a blue Chevy Suburban in the car port with Wyoming tags on it. Neal had met Jetta in Rawlins, Wyoming, thru the Baptist Church. They had a baby together and the baby is about 7 months old. Jetta was going by the name Rachel and the two boys were going by the names of Peter and David. I was told Rachel, Peter and David were positively Jetta, Oliver, and Wilman.
"I called the Dent County Sheriff's Office and talked to Sgt. Roderman. He said the last known location of Jetta and the boys, was in Rawlins, Wyoming, They lost track of her after they left there. Sgt Roderman confirmed all the other information from the anonymous source. A copy of the warrant was faxed to Meade County Sheriff's Office.
"I contacted Undersheriff Nancy Mitchell, Deputy Jared Ohs, and Deputy Jim Ediger to go to 414 N Meade Center. Jared and Nancy went to the front; I and Jim went to the back and different sides of the house.
"I heard a female and a child's voice thru an open window in the rear of the house as I was approaching the house. While watching the side door I went to the front of the house on the north side as Jared knocked on the door. I heard a male (later identified as Neal Ellis) voice respond to Jared when he asked to see Jetta. He finally told Jared she was in the back of the house with the kids.
"We went in and identified Jetta, Oliver and Wilman Midyett. We also identified Neal Ellis and a 7-month- old baby named Royal Ellis. At 12:34 Jetta was arrested on the Dent County warrant and Neal was arrested for interference with parental custody. They were transported to Meade County Sheriff's Office, Jetta by Undersheriff Mitchell, Neal, Oliver, Wilman and Royal by Jim Ediger in Neal's Suburban because of the child safety seats needed to transport the children.
Neal gave permission for us to do so.
"We were told Royal Ellis was born in a basement assisted by a midwife. Royal has no birth certificate or SSN; he was placed in police protective custody.
"Oliver and Wilman Midyett were released later that evening to their father, Jason Midyett, from Salem, Missouri."
Dent County Sheriff Rick Stallings and Dent County Prosecuting Attorney Sid Pearson could not be reached for comment or information.