A Soldotna woman was being extradited from Portland, Ore., to Madison, Wis., this week after being charged with interfering with child custody.
Kelly Tautfest could face up to 15 years in prison for the class C felony.
A nationwide alert was issued for Tautfest in late August after she took her 5-year-old daughter from her mother's home in Wisconsin.
Tautfest was working in Alaska while her mother cared for her daughter. Her mother, Janet LaRue, had cared for the child for about a year; she had gained custody of Bella Fiore only about two weeks before the girl was taken, according to a story in the Wisconsin State Journal.
Tautfest told her mother, she was returning to Alaska, but wanted to spend the night with her daughter and take her to kindergarten in the morning, LaRue told the Journal.
After midnight on Aug. 27, Tautfest crawled out the window of her mother's house with her daughter, Fitchburg, Wis., Police Department Detective Celeste Stick said.
LaRue told the Journal she thought Tautfest would kidnap her daughter and slept in the hallway so she would not go out the front door.
"She had a chance and could have done the right thing," LaRue said in a telephone interview this week. "She just got bad advice. We are trying to do what's best for Bella."
The FBI found Tautfest in Portland after following a lead. She was arrested Sept. 18.
Bella was placed in foster care until LaRue could pick her up, Stick said. The child is now back with her grandmother in Wisconsin.
"The courts granted (LaRue) custody," Stick said. "All I care about is she was given temporary custody. ... The best thing would have been for her to go to the custody hearing."
Tautfest had been waiting for her extradition in the Inverness Jail in Multnomah County, Ore.
The Dane County (Wisconsin) Sheriff's office is in charge of delivering Tautfest to Wisconsin, but it does not give out information when prisoners are in route. The transport began Oct. 2.
"We have no idea how long it will take," said Dane County Deputy District Attorney Judy Schwaemle earlier this week.
Tautfest's stepmother, Soldotna resident Jeanette Tautfest, said Kelly had been in a parent support group in Kenai and has been a good mother to her daughter.
"The whole family is here (in Alaska)," Jeanette Tautfest said. "Bella was born and raised in Soldotna."
Friend Melody Byram said Kelly Tautfest needed her mother's help so she could afford better things for her daughter.
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