Fugitive task force catches parents accused of taking kids from CPS


TOPEKA, Kansas (KXAN) — The parents accused of  taking their children from Child Protective Services, were taken into custody Wednesday in Topeka, Kansas. The U.S. Marshals say their three boys were also with them and found safe.

Jeffrey Gilseth and his wife Maria reportedly went on the run with their children after being told at a CPS meeting their parental rights were being terminated. The Gilseth’s lost custody of the boys last May after CPS reported a history of abuse and violent threats made by Jeffrey to Maria.

Wednesday afternoon, KSNT in Topeka confirmed to KXAN that a fugitive task force had been following the Gilseth’s car, and safely stopped them at a toll booth on a turnpike. 

They were taken to the Shawnee County Department of Corrections and booked into jail.

According to the U.S. Marshal’s Office in Waco, all parties are safe and will be brought back to Texas. CPS says the children will be placed back in foster care.

Tuesday night, Jeffrey called the KXAN newsroom and said the children were not in danger and he took the children because they were in an unsafe situation in foster care — and he had video to prove it.

In the 30 minute video he emailed to the station, Jeffrey mainly interviews his oldest son. Maria is sitting next to him on a couch holding his hand. Jeffrey asks his son one question after another, including, “Are you safe right now?” and “Have you ever seen me hurt your mother?”

The child says no, and then the boy goes on to say he does not feel safe in foster care. Jeffrey also asks the middle child similar questions on camera. The dad explains to the boys that he is going to return them to CPS custody because it is the “right thing to do.” 

According to a CPS removal affidavit, the parents lost custody of their children last May due to a history of family violence.

In an interview Monday, Jeffrey’s attorney told KXAN they are great parents and the fight is not over to regain custody of their children.

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