Fugitive wanted in alleged child abduction arrested in Virginia

Posted: Tuesday, April 04, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Alaskan resident was arrested in Virginia and charged with being a fugitive after allegedly fleeing with a child from a Native village, Alaska State Troopers said Monday.

U.S. Marshals arrested Kimberly Ketzler, 33, on Friday in Alexandria, Va., as she exited the back door of the building where she worked. She was charged with custodial interference for allegedly abducting a 10-year-old girl from Venetie in 1998.

The child was picked up a short time later at the school she was attending and handed over to Virginia family services where plans were being made for her return to the village.

Ketzler and her husband Wayne, who is the girl's cousin, applied to adopt the girl in August 1998 when they were living in Venetie and taking care of her. Before getting approval from the tribal government, the couple took the child to Oklahoma where Ketzler used to live. Wayne Ketzler later returned to Alaska without his wife.

Kimberly Ketzler was informed in October 1998 by telephone that the tribal government had denied her request to adopt the girl. She promised to return the child but had no further contact with the Venetie Tribal Government.

The girl's birth mother and father still live in Venetie, said Trooper David Jones, a member of the Fugitive Task Force.

A warrant for Ketzler's arrest was issued March 20 by the Superior Court in Fairbanks. The Fugitive Task Force got word that Ketzler could be working in the District of Columbia area.

''That turned out to be a pretty good lead,'' Jones said.

Ketzler was being held Monday in the Alexandria jail awaiting extradition proceedings. If found guilty, she could be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison and fined $50,000.

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