KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Kansas City family shattered three years ago by an abduction believes they're one step closer to being whole again, after Jackson County prosecutors finally charged Lillie Warren's mother with her abduction, which took place in June of 2010.
Lillie's father William Warren won custody of his daughter after an acrimonious legal battle in 2008. Lillie's mother Sandra Osborne picked up her daughter, then 10-years-old, for a visit on June 18, 2010.
"She picked her up and they left and the following day she called me and told me I'd never see her again," William Warren said in an interview this week.
Warren and his wife Barbara tracked Osborne from Kansas City to Denver to Oklahoma City, hiring a private investigator and having her served with court papers. Police, the Warrens say, repeatedly told them theirs was a matter for family or civil court, and did not get involved in the case until this June.
"I went to the police department probably five, six times, repeatedly trying to get a police report on file," William said. "Continually, they told me I needed to file with the courts, because it was a civil matter."
After a review this summer, spurred in part by Barbara's constant prodding of police, the case was reviewed. In August, Jackson County prosecutors charged Osborne with two felonies: child abduction and custody interference. A warrant was then issued for her arrest.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, nearly 200,000 children are abducted by relatives every year and law enforcement sources say such cases are often complicated to pursue due to confusing custody arrangements.
The Warrens have not been contacted by Lillie, who once dreamt of being an actress, since that day in June three years ago. But they remain confident the girl is alive and even believe she might be back in Kansas City.
"You have days when you're angry, you're frustrated. You wonder what the child's living conditions are like. How she feels, is she healthy," William said.
"At some point, I got to the point where I said I would put it in God's hands and hopefully someday he will put an end to it all," Warren said. "And I hope it would be sooner than later, because I'm missing some wonderful years with my child. I just have faith in God and keep trying each day."
The Warrens ask anyone with information about the whereabouts of Osborne or Lillie Warren to contact Kansas City Police.