COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A mother accused of kidnapping her own children appeared in Recorder’s Court on Thursday morning.
Kaila Spires, 39, appeared in front of Judge Alonzo Whitaker and entered a not guilty plea to two charges of kidnapping. She was ordered held without bond and the case was bound over to Superior Court.
Columbus police testified that Spires told them the plan was hatched by her 11-year-old daughter and all she did was go to Columbus to get her and the other two children.
Here’s what the Sgt. Loretta Zieverink had to say.
The three children were at the Burger King on north Veterans Parkway Sunday afternoon for a sibling visit. All three children are in foster care with different families.
The visit was supervised by the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services (DFACS). Spires had lost custody of her children and Assistant District Attorney Will Kirby told the court DFACS was in the process of terminating her parental rights.
The state agency has reports alleging sexual and physical abuse dating back 10 years, Kirby told the court.
On Sunday, Oct. 15, Mikaela Harell went to the Burger King to get the kids according to the plan. Police say she was working with Spires, who was at an IHOP across the street.
Harell has not been charged. Police say the investigation is ongoing.
The 11-year-old carried her 4-year-old sister to a car Harell was driving while the DFACS was in another part of the restaurant.
“According to Mrs. Spires, she was going to take them and run away,” Zieverink said. “Mrs. Spires claims that she was worried the children would be sex trafficked as soon as they left the parking lot, so she came up here with her friend Mrs. Harell, to pick up the children.”
An 8-year-old sibling refused to leave with his two sisters. The detective testified the boy had been abused, even locked in a closet for two weeks by the mother.
Once the kids were gone, police were immediately notified. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation sent out an Amber Alert, warning the kids could be in imminent danger.
Police immediately focused the investigation on south Georgia, where Spires’ mother and children’s grandmother resides.
Law enforcement in four south Georgia counties were alerted. They immediately began to search places they believed the children could be.
The grandmother talked to law enforcement and gave three conflicting stories, according to court testimony.
The children were found Monday in a business in Fitzgerald, Ga.
Spires’ next court hearing has yet to be scheduled.
- ‘There was an accomplice’: CPD continues to investigate kidnapping of two Columbus children
- CPD arrests mother of missing children last seen on Veterans Parkway
- UPDATE: Missing children found safe in south Georgia, according to police