DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WCMH) – A traffic stop on a Florida highway ended with children missing from Ohio found and two people arrested, according to an area sheriff’s office.
The Florida Highway Patrol called the Walton County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday about an Ohio couple involved in a parental kidnapping. A mother, 27-year-old Ashley Nicole Holter, had taken her six children from their grandparents and fled the state in a minivan with her boyfriend, 26-year-old Nicholis Andrew Adams. The pair had active warrants from Lancaster, according to the sheriff’s office.
Fairfield County Common Pleas Court records showed that Child Protective Services took custody of all six of Holter’s children on Dec. 8, and then put them in their grandparents’ care. After Holter took them back, investigators pinged her cell phone, showing she had left for Florida.
Holter briefly spoke with CPS on the phone on Saturday, telling them she was a resident of Florida and had no plans to come back to Ohio. CPS gave the couple a deadline to return the children to Ohio, which court records showed they ignored. A Fairfield County judge then issued warrants for their arrest.
Walton County deputies found and stopped the couple’s minivan on a stretch of Interstate 10 in DeFuniak Springs, Fla. Inside, they found the six children ranging as young as an infant to nine years old. The sheriff’s office said the group was dirty and hadn’t been fed in days. Its Child Protection Unit took them into custody, and is working to reunite them with their grandparents.
Deputies arrested Holter and Adams for kidnapping and false imprisonment. The sheriff’s office took the couple back to Ohio, where Fairfield County court records showed they were each being charged with felony interference with custody. Both are being held on $75,000 bonds, and prosecutors asked for them to have GPS monitoring, calling them flight risks.