Watch CBS News

Missing RI Children Found Safe After 30 Years; Mother Arrested For Child Snatching

WARWICK, Rhode Island (CBS) -- Rhode Island State Police said Tuesday that two children missing for over 30 years had been found safe--and that their mother had been charged in their abduction.

Elaine Yates and her two daughters, Kimberly and Kelly, had been missing since 1985, when Elaine's husband Russell Yates filed a missing persons complaint. Police say they believe Elaine, who did not have custody of the children, abducted Kimberly and Kelly after a domestic dispute.

Kimberly and Kelly were just 3 1/2 years and 10 months old, respectively, when they went missing.

What authorities thought Elaine Yates would look like now. (Rhode Island State Police)

Last month, Rhode Island State Police said they received a tip about the whereabouts of the mother and her daughters. They worked with the Texas Department of Public Safety to find Elaine Yates living in Houston, Texas under the assumed name Leina Waldberg.

After she confirmed to investigators that she was Elaine Yates, she was arrested and charged with child snatching Monday.

The news stunned Russell Yates. "It's all about my children," Yates told the Providence Journal. "I just hopefully they'll want to get in touch with me. They're adults now, so that's up to them."

Elaine Yates was being taken back to Rhode Island, where she will face arraignment Wednesday in Kent Superior Court in Warwick.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.