Four Kids and Mom Found Safe in Elkhart After Abduction

By: Robert Borrelli
By: Robert Borrelli

A three-day ordeal is over. An Elkhart woman and her four children, abducted Saturday, are safe.

Not in Chicago, where many thought they were headed, but in Elkhart where the saga began.

Small bits of information helped police narrow their focus to the north side of Elkhart.

Three phone calls made by Kimberly Walker to her family helped cops know there was trouble.

Safe and Sound
Detective Sgt. Bill Wargo breathed a collective sigh of relief. "Our number one goal and priority was to find Kimberly and those four children alive, and we did that," he said.

Four children and their mother, who police say were held captive by her former boyfriend, their father, were safe.

Police zeroed in on Elkhart’s Sleepy Hollow Motel where Kimberly Walker answered the door.

Detective Wargo explains what happened next. "Kimberly, in my 14-years of doing this job, I have never seen that much fear in one person's eyes. Kimberly stood there and she wouldn't talk to us and she wouldn't move. By the way, she started shaking; I was worried she was gonna' pass out in the doorway. She just kept yelling, 'my kids, my kids!' "

Kimberly and all four kids were not harmed.

Jerry White told police, "I give up”, as he was stuck in an air conditioning vent.

Police say the two have a long history of domestic violence. Because of that, police say Kimberly made a plan with family members to use a special code word.

During the ordeal, Kimberly made three phone calls from a pay phone, just two blocks away from the hotel; calling family to let them know she was in trouble.

Wargo explained, "When they would talk to her, if she was in danger, they would say the code word and if she didn't respond in a certain way they knew something was wrong. And during those conversations with her family they obviously were asking her about her code word. And when she didn't respond properly we knew that this wasn't something she was willingly doing."

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, in the area for another event, expressed his thanks at a news conference held Wednesday morning by Elkhart Police.

The governor said, "I'm the father of four children. What these men have done today has made parents grateful statewide and I'm sure beyond our borders.”

The four kids were sent home with their mother and their grandmother.

Searchers initially feared the oldest, Jaylen, would suffer because of his asthma, but he was carrying a fresh inhaler.

Jerry White is being held on preliminary charges of attempted murder and criminal confinement.

A handgun was found inside the hotel room.

Amber Alert Canceled
Lathie Turnage, the boyfriend of Kimberly Walker's sister, remains in critical condition after being shot at Walker's home Saturday.

However, police have happily canceled the Amber Alert issued Saturday morning for Walker and her four kids.


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