Killeen: couple accused of abducting their 3 children indicted

Maria Gilseth and her husband Jeffrey Gilseth. (Jail photos)
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) Jeffrey Gilseth, 32, and Maria Gilseth, 32, who were named in arrest warrants after police said they abducted their three children, of whom they did not have custody, during a supervised visit on Feb. 21 in Killeen, were named in indictments Wednesday charging interference with child custody.

Bell County deputies returned the couple to Central Texas in March from the Shawnee County Jail in Topeka, Kan., where they had been held since their arrests in February.

Neither appeared on the Bell County Jail’s online roster Wednesday.

The two were arrested after their vehicle was spotted on Feb. 27 in Riley County, Kan., by members of the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Apprehension Task Force.

Authorities were able to pin the couple’s car in a toll plaza on Interstate 70 in Topeka, Kan., and both were taken into custody without incident.

The children, ages 11, 9 and 4, who had been the focus of an ongoing search involving the U.S. Marshals Service, were taken to a juvenile intake and assessment center for processing.

The children were removed from their parents in May 2018 after a two-month investigation led by Child Protective Services in McCullough County.

A document filed in McCulloch County said sheriff’s deputies had been sent to a disturbance at the family’s home where Maria showed deputies’ bruises on her body she said were caused by Jeffrey.

She told deputies the children had witnessed the abuse and Jeffrey had threaten her saying “the children are not leaving the home over my dead body."

Maria told deputies the children had not experienced physical violence.

The three boys were then placed with their paternal grandmother while the investigation took place.

The document states Jeffrey told authorities Maria had initiated the fight and the bruising came from her suffering from a medical condition that caused issues with bruising.

Authorities advised both parents to live apart temporarily and to not be alone together with the children.

That is when CPS was called to provide the family with help.

The document states both parents were unable to stay away from each other and through interviewing the children there were prior physical altercations between the parents.