Rexburg police have arrested a woman they say took three children illegally.
Heather Anne John, 29, of Orem, Utah, was arrested at 4 p.m. Monday at the Rexburg Health and Welfare Office on a three-count felony complaint, including custodial interference and kidnapping.
Police have been looking for John since July 13, when the three children were reported missing from their father's home in Rexburg. Two are her biological children, but the third is the daughter of another mother.
Rexburg Police Detective Rick Schmitt says it was hard convincing John to come to Rexburg after hiding out in Orem and Las Vegas, and tracking her on her cell phone wasn't working.
"She would turn it on and talk in common places--she'd go to malls and big parking lots to talk to us on the phone."
Police set up a sting operation at the State's Health and Welfare Office in Rexburg Monday afternoon. When John arrived, police arrested her.
"Through talking with her over the phone several times, she finally agreed to come up and try to work things out, and that's when we arrested her," said Schmitt.
John was being held on $100,000 bond in the Madison County jail.
Police said the woman took her two children from their elementary school once before last December, but after authorities located her in Utah, no charges were filed at that time.
Schmitt said Tuesday he's seen his fair share of custody battles--but never a case like this.
"She wants to have a relationship with her daughters, but she just can't come up here and take her children," he said.