Charges filed in abduction case

A woman and her brother are facing 12-and-a half years in prison and $25,000 fines after the woman failed to turn her child over to human services and instead fled to another state with her brother. Both Jessica Cleasby and her brother Jamey Cleasby are facing charges of interfering with custody beyond visitation after they were arrested in Griggs County, N.D. on Jan. 26.

According to the criminal complaint filed last week Tuesday, Jessica Cleasby was at a hearing on Jan. 24 in which she was ordered by Trempealeau County Circuit Court Judge Rian Radtke to turn physical custody of her 15-month old child to the Trempealeau County Department of Human Services by 4:30 p.m. that day. When Cleasby failed to turn the child over, Trempealeau County Sheriff's Department investigator Erica Koxlien filed a missing persons report. According to a report by the Associated Press, the Cleasby siblings were tracked using cell phone data. Griggs County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Amber Michaelis reported seeing a vehicle that matched the description of the vehicle Jamey Cleasby, Jessica Cleasby and her child were to have been traveling in on Jan. 26 at 1 p.m. The vehicle was found parked in front of a motel room in Cooperstown, N.D. and Michaelis was able to confirm that the motel was rented with cash, paid by Jamey Cleasby. Michaelis observed Jamey Cleasby exiting the motel room before placing him under arrest with the assistance of other law enforcement personnel. Within Jamey Cleasby's motel room, Michaelis observed Jessica Cleasby and the child.

In the complaint, Michaelis noted that the motel room "appeared to be extremely dirty" and that the child's diaper was "heavily soiled." The GCSO chief deputy also noted that the child did not have appropriate winter clothing and that there was not appropriate food for the child. In addition to charges in Trempealeau County, both of the Cleasby siblings were charged with child abduction charges in Griggs County. Jamey Cleasby is also facing bail jumping charges related to a drug possession charge in Sawyer County. While court dates in Trempealeau County had not been set as of Monday of this week, both Jessica Cleasby and Jamey Cleasby are scheduled to make their initial appearances in Griggs County on Feb. 25. Trempealeau County Sheriff Brett Semingson indicated in a meeting with the Trempealeau County Board of Supervisors last week Monday that Jessica Cleasby's loss of custody was related to drug use.

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