Federal charges filed against mother accused of kidnapping two boys
Disturbing Facebook posts led concerned family members and authorities to believe the boys were in serious danger.
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A criminal complaint filed in federal court Tuesday provides more details about the parental kidnapping of two boys, who were taken Friday in Pascagoula.
Kaiden, 6, and his 2-year-old brother Kolden were at Beach Park on Friday evening with their foster parents for a supervised visit with their mother Sarah Caswell, when she drove off in a car with them, said authorities.
After a search that spanned nearly three days, the boys were found safe Monday and Caswell was arrested near Brookhaven, Miss.
According to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday, Caswell lost custody of the two boys on July 18, 2020. The boys were then put into the custody of Mississippi Department of Child Protective Services.
During one of the court-approved visits with her children, Caswell reportedly asked the foster parents if they were okay with the children sitting in her car. The foster kids said yes and placed the kids in the vehicle. They told authorities that Caswell hesitated for a moment, then shut the doors to the car and drove off at a high rate of speed.
Pascagoula Police issued an Amber Alert for the missing boys on Friday night.
Law enforcement was able to verify that the gray 2007 Audi A4 Caswell was driving crossed the Mississippi-Alabama state line Friday afternoon before the kidnapping. That same vehicle was then spotted the next day, indicating that Caswell took the children back to Alabama after taking them from the Pascagoula park.
According to the criminal complaint, police received calls from relatives of Caswell after the kidnapping indicating that she was posting “crazy stuff” on Facebook and that they believed she was going to kill the children to prevent anyone else from getting them.
In court documents, authorities said some of the concerning posts on Caswell’s Facebook page included the following:
“I have been left with no option but to try to solicit myself to build a fast income to get what I need for my kids.”
“One thing you will never do is take my right to protect my children weather [sic] I am dead or alive I will never stop fight [sic] or give up they are me.”
“If I dnt [sic] make it thru this game I hope someone tells my kids I fought until the end.”
On Sunday, Oct. 18, FBI agents in Mobile interviewed a man who said Caswell came to his residence on the night of Oct. 16 with the two children in the Audi. The witness told authorities that the boys were hungry so he bought them McDonalds. After offering to sell the car to the man, Caswell left his home on the morning of Oct. 17.
On Monday, Oct. 19, Caswell and the two children were found in Mississippi by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office near Brookhaven. Caswell was taken into custody without incident. The children were returned to the custody of Child Protective Services.
According to family members, the father of the two boys died earlier this year.
“They both lost custody of the children a couple of months before he passed, literally a couple of months. They were both using drugs," said Ashley Lowe, the sister-in-law of the boys' father.
Ashley believes Caswell was not clearly thinking when she took her two sons from Beach Park.
“Me knowing Sarah, sober or not sober, those are her babies and she’s mama bear and wants to protect them. So, in her mind, I believe she thought she was doing what she needed to do as a mom to have them all together, not thinking about the outcome in the end," said Lowe.
Caswell is now facing federal charges of kidnapping because she crossed state lines with the boys.
According to the federal criminal code, kidnapping is a serious felony offense that can carry a prison sentence of 20 years or more, depending on prior convictions and the circumstances of the case.
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