US Marshals Arrest Bentonville Woman Who Fled With Children
OWASSO, Okla. (KFSM) — U.S. Marshals have arrested a Bentonville woman accused of taking off with her four children amid a custody dispute.
Lacee Pattengill, 29, was arrested Wednesday (Aug. 22) in connection with interference with custody — a Class C felony.
The marshals’ Western Arkansas Fugitive Task Force located Pattengill and her children Wednesday at an apartment complex in Owasso, according to a news release.
Agents put the apartment under surveillance until they were able to positively identify Pattengill and the missing children, who are between 15-months and 7-years-old.
The children were turned over to their paternal grandparents, who are their legal guardians, according to the release.
A Benton County circuit judge awarded the children’s grandparents custody of the children on Aug. 10. The grandparents accused Pattengill of endangering the children through her drug use and neglect, according to court documents.
“The sheriff’s department and U.S. Marshal’s Office worked tirelessly to find our babies. We are so grateful to them and the fugitive task force in Oklahoma,” said Mike Speights, the children’s grandfather.
“A special thank you to Sheriff Holloway for all his support in this!”
Sgt. Shannon Jenkins, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, praised the cooperation between law enforcement for a swift and safe end to the case.
“This is how it should be,” Jenkins said. “All of us working together as one for the good of the community.”
Pattengill was being held Wednesday at the Tulsa County Jail with an extradition hold for the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.
In Arkansas, Class C felonies are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
The task force consists of members from the U.S. Marshals Service, Arkansas State Police, Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Greenwood Police Department and Springdale Police Department.