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Members of the Rhode Island State Police Arrest a Woman for Two Counts of Child Snatching After Thirty-One Years of Being Reported Missing

Kelly Yates and her sister Kimberly were allegedly abducted by their non-custodial mother, Elaine Carolyn Yates. A felony warrant for Child Snatching was issued for her on November 16, 1988. Ms. Elaine Yates and her two daughters have been missing since the initial missing persons report of August 1985.

On or about August 26, 1985, a missing persons complaint was filed by Mr. Russell Yates. This report involved his wife, Elaine C. Yates (Pigeon) and two children, who left Warwick and have not been seen since. The two children identified as Kimberly and Kelly were 3 years old and 10 months, respectively, at the time of their disappearance. Based upon the initial investigation, it is believed that Mrs. Yates left home with the couple's children due to a domestic dispute.

Further investigation by law enforcement and the Office of the Rhode Island Attorney General led to a felony warrant for Child Snatching for Elaine C. Yates (Pigeon) on November 16, 1988.

During the month of December 2016, members of the Rhode Island State Police received information regarding the possible whereabouts of Elaine Yates and her daughters. With the assistance of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Elaine Yates was discovered residing in the City of Houston, Texas under the alias name of Leina L. Waldberg. On January 16, 2017, members of the Texas Department of Public Safety, along with the Rhode Island State Police, took Elaine C. Yates into custody without incident. Ms. Yates confirmed her true identity, she was arrested and charged with Child Snatching. She was arraigned by a Judge in the City of Houston and she waived extradition. She is currently being transported back to the State of Rhode Island for a formal arraignment on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 in Kent County Superior Court.

A special thank you to the members of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety for their assistance with this investigation.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lieutenant Colonel Joseph F. Philbin, Chief Investigative/Administrative Officer, (401) 444-1003

Related links

  • Department or agency: Rhode Island State Police
  • Online: http://risp.ri.gov
  • Release date: 01-17-2017

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