GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) - A woman who took her two sons to Mexico despite a court order that awarded custody to their father was indicted Wednesday with aggravated kidnapping.
State and federal arrest warrants were issued against Alma Alicia James, 34, who is under court order to return sons Matteo, 12, and 9-year-old Zane to their father, Stephen James. Alma Alicia James, who goes by "Alicia," was indicted along with her mother, Alma Alice Morrow, 62.
The indictments came after KXAN last month detailed the protracted custody battle Stephen James has waged to get his sons back. Although the courts awarded him custody of the boys, James encountered numerous roadblocks from law enforcement entities in his effort to have that court order enforced.
Sgt. Investigator Royger Harris of the Williamson County District Attorney's office, who has been spearheading the effort to bring Alicia James and the boys back from Mexico, served notice to any family or friends who are helping her and her mother avoid being arrested.
"ANYONE who promotes or assists, solicits, encourages, directs aids, or attempts to aide these two WILL be charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping," said Harris.
Alicia James' aunt, Edna Annette Bengston, has already been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping after sending money to Alicia in Mexico. Bengston has been released from the Williamson County Jail on bond.
Meanwhile, Stephen James has not seen his sons since June 20, 2012..
"I haven't even been in their bedroom, you know, since they left," said James. "I can't hang up pictures of them everywhere. I can't think about it. To take my mind off what's going on and get five minutes of peace."
Investigators in Mexico have told KXAN that Alicia James and the boys are living in deplorable conditions while the boys are kept behind locked doors and not in school. The investigators provided KXAN photos, showing the first confirmed sighting of Stephen's youngest son, Zane behind a barred window in a small dwelling in Orizaba, Mexico.
Along with the efforts of the Williamson County District Attorney's office, friends and family have created a Facebook page called "Bring Zane and Matteo Home" to help raise awareness and try to get the U.S. Department of State and the Mexican government help bring the boys home and their abductors to justice.
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