WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A 34-year-old mother was charged with felony interference with law enforcement in connection to the case of a missing 2-year-old girl. The girl was found safe Monday.
Ronetta A. Clement was arrested Monday in the 2400 block of South St. Clair. She made her first appearance in Sedgwick County Court on Wednesday.
“Her arrest follows an extensive investigation into her allegations that her child’s father had placed her 2-year-old daughter in danger,” said Capt. Brent Allred, Wichita Police Department. “Clement reported to police Sunday evening that the father was refusing to return custody of the child and that he made homicidal and suicidal statements.”
Police said information was developed Monday that contradicted what Clement reported to them after they re-interviewed her
Meanwhile, officers worked the father’s mother to determine the safety of the girl.
“We worked with the grandmother, the mother of the father, to bring the child to her so that we could contact the 2 year old to determine the safety of the child,” said Allred.
Police said the father had warrants.
“He has warrants. He didn’t want to be contacted by the police which is fine,” said Capt. Allred. “Our main concern is the welfare of the child. We still want to talk to him about it. At some point in time, I’m sure he will talk to us about it. “
During the course of the investigation, police said one lieutenant, four sergeants, four detectives and 11 officers worked an estimated 117 hours on the case.
The Exploited and Missing Children Unit was also active in the case.
“We do our best to ensure their safety. Kids and safety is our priority. So we have spent a lot of time on this case, as we should have,” said Lt. Dale Mattern, Commander with EMCU. “That probably didn’t need to be the case when we found out all those accusations were false. That takes resources away from other cases that we could be working.”
Lt. Mattern says they will also work a case where the police information indicating a child could be in danger.
Clement’s bond was set at $25,000. Her next court appearance is July 18.
Wichita police believe a 2-year-old girl is no longer in danger, and police continue to investigate the case.
However, the department late Monday afternoon sent out this statement, “we have found conflicting information and new information that has surfaced about her well-being. We are still asking for the community’s help in locating her so that we may check her welfare.”
Police learned that the girl is with her father and has been in his custody for several weeks.
Wichita police says it takes the safety and well-being of children serious.
“We will continue to speak with all of the involved parties to get a complete story as to what occurred,” the statement said.
At a Monday morning briefing, police said both the mother and father met at the location on Woodlawn on Sunday to exchange the girl. Both have parental custody.
“She alleged that the father was refusing to return the child and made some concerning statements about the safety of her welfare,” said Capt. Brent Allred, Wichita Police Department. “The comments that he made to the mother were concerning.”
Police said the case does not meet the KBI Amber Alert requirements.
“Did not meet the criteria for the KBI to issue an Amber Alert because the child was not abducted,” said Capt. Allred.
Kansas Amber Alert Criteria
- There has been a child abduction
- The abducted child is 17 years of age or younger or an individual with a mental or physical disability
- There is reason to believe the victim is in imminent danger, serious bodily injury or death
- There is sufficient information to disseminate to the general public, which could assist in the safe recovery of the victim and/or the apprehension of a suspect